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Construction firms urge George Osborne to support third Heathrow runway

Thirteen of Britain's largest construction and development firms have written to George Osborne urging him to live up to his declaration that "we are the builders" by supporting the building of a third runway at Heathrow.

The letter to the Chancellor stated that the west London airport has provided a "steady base of work" during the economic downturn and expansion would bring " a £15.6 billion order book to the UK supply chain".

It also noted last year's report by respected international economic thinktank the OECD which found that the UK has historically underspent on infrastructure, partially due to "long decision-making processes".

The signatories, including the bosses of Balfour Beatty, Morgan Sindall, Laing O'Rourke and BAM Nuttall, wrote: " At the Conservative conference in 2015 you announced 'we are the builders'.

"We congratulate you on your vision to build the important infrastructure the country needs and make the hard decisions. We represent some of the largest developers and construction companies in the UK. We applaud your ambition and stand ready to help you deliver it.

"We are writing to encourage your support for Heathrow expansion."

They added: "Let us help you build a better Britain by expanding Heathrow."

The Davies Commission recommended last July that a third runway should be built at Heathrow, at a cost of £18.6 billion.

But in December ministers postponed a final decision until at least the summer pending new analysis of the environmental impacts.

Other shortlisted options are extension of the existing northern runway at Heathrow - costing £13.5 billion - or building a second runway at Gatwick, which would cost £9.3 billion.

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