A BUSINESSMAN who owns land around Heathrow Airport has put forward a rival proposal for a new runway there - claiming it would save up to £6.7 billion.

Hotel tycoon Surinder Arora revealed today that he has submitted his alternative proposal to the government's recent consultation on airport expansion.

It includes a shift of the runway to avoid an impact on the M25 and M4 - something the Arora Group says threatens the current project as it is not necessarily deliverable.

The company said: "We appreciate this is a politically sensitive issue but it is merely an option with additional savings of £1.5bn, whereas the rest of our proposals save up to £5.2bn without the need to amend the runway location.”

The company adds that its plans reduce the current footprint of Heathrow expansion by more than a quarter - decreasing the amount of building demolition and groundworks required as well as the number of compulsory purchase orders.

In the main, the company aims to improve on the existing plans by streamlining them. However new features include a new taxi way system and changes to the design of the terminals.

The plans are supported by owners of British Airways, International Airlines Group (IAG), whose CEO Willie Walsh said they were a 'welcome alternative to the airport’s own costly scheme'.

A Department for Transport spokesperson responded: “The government has made clear that it believes a new northwest runway at Heathrow is the best scheme to deliver the economic and connectivity benefits this country needs. New capacity will increase competition between airlines resulting in lower fares for passengers.

“This will not be expansion at any cost but the right scheme at the right price, and we expect industry to work together to drive down construction costs for the benefit of passengers.

"A consultation on a draft Airports National Policy Statement closed on May 25 and we are currently analysing the responses, and will set out our next steps in due course.”

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “Heathrow’s expansion proposals are supported by the government and have widespread cross party political, business and union support.

"We continue to develop our plans to improve passenger experience, reduce the impact on local communities, and lower the cost so we deliver expansion at close to current charges.

"We are always happy to have ongoing engagement with all stakeholders to improve our plans. There will be further opportunity to give views during the public consultation later this year, which is part of the Development Consent Order planning process.”