Indian-Origin Businessman in UK Launches Legal Battle Against Heathrow Airport

Surinder Arora plans to construct a 2,077-space, nine-storey car park on the piece of land that he owns at Heathrow.


Hotel tycoon Surinder Arora is suing the Heathrow Airport over a planned multi-level car parking, The Sunday Times reported.

Arora, who is based in the United Kingdom, plans to construct a 2,077-space, nine-level car park on the piece of land that he owns at Heathrow. He has issued a UK High Court claim against the airport over his plans.

The airport has, however, objected to Arora’s project, with the Heathrow Airport Limited claiming that it alone is authorized to construct these spaces. Arora, on the other hand, has said that the cap of 42,000 car park space refers to the airport site as a whole, and his land is a part of this. So this gives him too the right to build car-park spaces, according to the report.

Heathrow thinks that Arora should finish the process of planning before he goes to the court. “We believe this is entirely without merit and will respond accordingly,” the airport stated regarding the High Court claim filed by Arora, the report added.

According to the local planning rules, a maximum of 42,000 car parking spaces are permitted at the airport. Arora was earlier permitted to build a smaller version with 1,000 spaces and five floors on the site, which opened last year.

He now wishes to add another four more floors, resulting in reduction of parking charges at Heathrow, which are currently among the costliest in the world, as per the publication.

The row between Heathrow and Arora is more than just about car parking. Arora is using it to bring forth a bigger fight with the airport over whether competition should be allowed, the publication reported.

Arora, the founder and chairman of the Arora Group, arrived in the United Kingdom from India as a teenager. He founded the business in 1999 and runs a luxury four-star hotel at Heathrow for airline staff. His estimated net worth now is around £350 million.

Arora has also been seeking the right to build a third runway at the Heathrow Airport. He is being supported by airlines including the British Airways, but Heathrow has claimed that the right to develop the runway lies with it.

The plan for the third runway recently received the backing of the Cabinet. The plans for a new runway at Heathrow Airport at an expense of £14 billion could be voted on before UK parliament breaks for the summer recess, City A.M. reported.

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