Councils set for court challenge on Heathrow decision

Published: Thursday 19th July 18

A group of local authorities has today formally notified the Secretary of State for Transport that it intends to seek judicial review of the Government’s decision to give policy support in the Airports National Policy Statement (“NPS”) for a third Heathrow runway.

The councils are challenging the Government on the grounds of air quality, climate change, strategic environmental assessment including failing properly to deal with the noise consequences and surface access impacts.

On air quality they say, amongst other things, that the Government has misunderstood and misapplied the law on air quality.

On surface access the councils say, amongst other things, that the NPS fails to recognise the scale of the challenge to accommodate additional trips without unacceptable effects on the transport network and unacceptable effects from traffic pollution.

Councillor Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, said: “The councils have shown extraordinary patience. We have given the Government numerous opportunities to address our concerns and answer our questions. All the evidence shows that a new Heathrow runway will be bad for the environment in our boroughs and bad for the health of our residents.”

The Government must now respond to the councils’ formal letter before action. If the Transport Secretary does not agree to a quashing of the NPS, then the local authorities will bring judicial review proceedings.

The local authority group comprises of the London Boroughs of Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Richmond, Windsor and Maidenhead Council, and Hammersmith & Fulham.

The group has also been joined by the Mayor of London and Greenpeace.

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Recent comments

All those who complain about aeroplane noise are very lucky not to have noisy neighbours. I agree with other comments that the helicopters are louder than the planes. So are the motorbikes and the drunks shouting on the way home all night. Considering we live in one of the most expensive areas of the whole country, I am surprised that those who are disturbed by the planes don't move house. However, I feel strongly that we are already very overcrowded, with a serious air pollution problem. The last thing we need is a bigger airport. We cannot keep competing with Paris and Frankfurt for air traffic: we do not have the space. Still, I wonder why the council feels it is value for money to spend residents' taxes on court battles.
Alison

25 July 2018

Please keep the pressure on re Heathrow and the third runway. Very detrimental affect on health and well being of residents under the flight path. Too many flights just before and at 6 am.... Could make more use of Gatwick or divert to more northern airports. On a shared basis this might help. BUT no 3 rd runway. Thank you.
Antoinette Traylen

21 July 2018

Thank goodness! But in the meantime why are we not putting pressure on the Government to allow other airports to expand their capacity?! A second runway at Gatwick for example is long overdue. And the Northern Power House? Ed Milliband's plea for expansion further north was ignored. What is this Government driven by? Certainly not our National interest.
Barbara Foster

21 July 2018

Please Wandsworth stop wasting our money, or are you wanting to lose London it's status a great city London needs this runway to keep London at the forefront of the world as it should be. I really think that this matter should be laid to rest. enough is enough.
Frank White

21 July 2018

The Govt have ignored the very real concerns of citizens. Poor air quality will be even worse. Plus this area is always congested with traffic. South East England would be better if it is still considered necessary. Gatwick is the better choice. Plus we don’t want to see those historic villages destroyed. Hopefully this appeal will drag on until govt gives up on it
A Jackson

20 July 2018

A very bad decision and a waste of our money. We need a new runway, already we are losing business to other countries airports. I live right under the flightpath and don't even notice the planes. If you want to do anything GET RID OF THE HELIPORT. That is ridiculously noisy and is just for the rich. Really disappointed in Wandsworth Council.
Colin Brown

20 July 2018

Amazingly, no one knows where the proposed new flight paths will be nor if the existing are retained. This information is secret or undecided.
A

20 July 2018

Please stop wasting our council tax money on legal fees. We need a bigger airport for post Brexit if we are to prosper as a country.
Simon

20 July 2018

I'm already affected by the noise of planes overhead from 5am till midnight, even with the new double glazed Windows, it's a nightmare, I live on the top two of four maisonettes I'm always affected by the noise pollution here, and the traffic pollution. I cycle everywhere and it's getting so bad to be in constant traffic already.... All of us should be able to live in peace and comfort.
Christine McCarthy

20 July 2018

How much of the councils budget is being spent on fighting the Heathrow expansion? It should be for national government to decide on this.
Jeremy Lock

20 July 2018

We have enough noise over Battersea from as early as 4.30am. Wandsworth is polluted enough by trains, helicopters, HGVs & delivery vans, taxis & minicabs/Uber - without the addition of more planes. overhead. Something could be done about helicopters coming into land at Battersea Heliport - very near to our residential housing - very noisy - and sometimes they are landing near to midnight - which I didn't think was part of their deal.
Liz D

20 July 2018