ECONOMIC growth versus the quality of living - this could be the tough choice facing the south of the borough now that Hillingdon Council has set out its Local Development Framework (LDF).
The most controversial part is shaping up to be the Heathrow Opportunity Area (HOA) which, it is argued, would change the landscape of Yiewsley, West Drayton and Hayes town centre.
By relaxing planning laws and encouraging development of hotels and office blocks in these areas, it is hoped more than 9,000 jobs will be created.
At present, this development zone includes residential areas. Hillingdon Council has said the chance for development must be taken, but opposition councillors and residents have warned the HOA could turn busy communities into the 'uninhabitable' Bath Road.
Jean Palmer, the council's director of planning, environment and community, will need all the big-picture thinking she can muster to sell a Local Development Framework with a 2026 endpoint.
"Yiewsley and West Drayton form part of the Heathrow Opportunity Area, which is a regionally important location for growth and suitable for regeneration opportunities such as improved transport links, housing and business developments, which will create an improved place to live and work," she said this week.
"These plans are in addition to nearly half a million pounds already being spent to regenerate part of the West Drayton and Yiewsley town centres, and a further £2million from TfL."
About 9,000 (or one in 15) residents in the borough works at Heathrow and the aim of the LDF is to capitalise further on the opportunities afforded to the borough by the world's busiest airport, and build an infrastructure to support it.
This is despite - or perhaps because of - Hillingdon Council's resolute opposition to a third runway, a project which carried some of the same arguments of economic gain and personal pain.
The HOA was created by the Greater London Authority, which identified the area around the airport as ripe for investment and development.
Hillingdon's LDF report warns of the noise and environmental impact extra development would bring to the area.
"Increasing development and commercial activity around Heathrow is required to sustain the economic competitiveness of the borough; however, this will invariably lead to greater impacts on air quality," it states.
"This poses a significant challenge for the borough."
With development would come changes to the transport system, as the report acknowledges the HOA centres
around 'congestion hotspots' in West Drayton and Hayes, but rules out the construction of new roads, arguing for better public transport and highway improvements.
The need for extra office space was called into question by opposition Labour councillor Anita MacDonald, who represents West Drayton.
She said: "I do not know if extra office space will be needed on such a large scale; this does not seem thought through.
"It is about looking forward to 2026 and forecasting how life will be.
"Already people work remotely and not in the office. What makes the council think we will need masses of office space? The likelihood is demand will be low."
Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP John Randall (Con), whose constituency includes Yiewsley, said sometimes the messenger can get shot for nothing.
"Years back, one development plan for Uxbridge made it look like Randalls (in Vine Street) was under threat, but it turned out to be nothing to worry about.
"Sometimes these maps are drawn up without people realising that people own what is already there."
Detailed proposals for the Heathrow Opportunity Area will be set out in a future Heathrow Area planning document.
There will be an opportunity to comment when a final version of the plan for the borough is published later this year.
* Hillingdon Council's consultation document asks residents to comment on a housing target that could almost double if London Mayor Boris Johnson gets his way.
The uncertain situation is a concern for the council as it waits for the Greater London Authority (GLA) to confirm - probably not until 2011 - whether Hillingdon will need to provide 365 or 620 new homes a year.
But the council moved to reassure residents this week that a further round of consultation will take place as and when any new housing target is imposed by the GLA.
Jean Palmer, the council's director of planning, environment and community, said: "There will be a further opportunity for residents to comment on the strategy before it is submitted to government, and there will be further planning documents which provide more details on how this strategy will be carried out in the
borough, which residents will also have the chance to comment on."
The London Plan was originally finalised in February 2008 with an annual city-wide housing target of 30,500. But Mr Johnson commissioned a review of the plan after his election in May that year and a new target of 33,000 a year has since emerged.
Hillingdon Council envisages 745 homes in the Heathrow Opportunity Area between 2011 and 2016; 283 in the Hayes/West Drayton corridor; 532 in Uxbridge North; 25 in Uxbridge South; 12 in Hayes End, north of Uxbridge Road; 524 in other areas south of the A40; and 637 for all areas north of the A40. Total: 2,758.
But the numbers could change between now and the final publication of Hillingdon's Local Development Framework late next year.