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Council leader: £50k is a 'modest sum' for Heathrow legal fight

The door has been left open for other authorities to join the Royal Borough in its potential legal challenge over the expansion of Heathrow Airport.

The borough held its first Aviation Forum on Tuesday since the Government gave its backing last week for plans to build a third runway at Heathrow.

Leader of the council Cllr Simon Dudley (Con, Riverside) told the forum that other authorities, including Transport for London (TFL), could join forces with the borough if it builds a strong enough legal case to oppose the Government’s decision.

Cllr Dudley said: “I know the Mayor of London and Transport for London are considering their position given that a lot of the transportation and infrastructure costs will fall upon them.

“I think it’s likely if there is a strong case that others could join.”

Councillors also faced questions from the audience at Windsor Guildhall about whether Prime Minister Theresa May was reflecting the will of her constituents by supporting Heathrow.

In 2009 she told her Maidenhead constituency that she planned to fight proposed expansion at the airport.

Cllr Dudley added: “To govern is to choose and she’s a wonderful constituency MP.

“It’s not a matter for the Aviation Forum. It’s a Conservative Association matter.”

The forum heard the council is now working with its lawyers to work out the strength of any potential legal challenge.

It has already pledged to spend £50,000 to help fund a judicial review.

“Money will only be spent if it’s a strong case,” Cllr Dudley said.

“But with the potential of air quality issues for our residents I would suggest that £50,000 is a very modest sum.”

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