Councils ‘ready’ for legal challenge on runway plan

Councils opposed to Heathrow expansion say that they will seek a judicial review following the news that MPs have backed a controversial third runway.

Greenpeace UK said it was ready to join a cross-party group of London councils and the city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, in a legal challenge against the third runway.

Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, said:

“Heathrow already makes life intolerable for people of all sides of the airport. The Government should be reducing noise for the communities affected but instead it is making it worse. The local authorities have said repeatedly that the noise impacts from the runway are unacceptable. More than 2 million people will be affected by noise from a third runway but they don’t know it yet because the Government has deliberately delayed telling us where the flight paths will be.

“It was only last week that we were finally able to see previously unpublished figures showing that the Government knows that 38 flights could be allowed to land before 5am to make this runway viable. The people whose lives will be affected and whose health will suffer are being kept in the dark.”

The government won a key vote in the Commons by 415 votes to 119 – a majority of 296 in favour of the runway.

Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, said:

“The councils have pointed out repeatedly that Heathrow contributes to illegal and lethal air pollution.  Even with measures to cope with pollution, a new airport will cause further deterioration and, contrary to the Government’s optimistic and fanciful figures, risk illegal levels of pollution in the future. The Government has still offered no evidence showing how air quality obligations can be achieved.

“We will fight this proposal through the courts and we will win because the alternative is to condemn thousands of people to premature deaths from dangerous levels of air pollution.

“We will use all the tools at our disposal to end this third runway nightmare once and for all.”


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