11:00AM, Thursday 20 October 2016
A decision on Heathrow’s expansion will be made before the end of the month, Theresa May announced at Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday (Wednesday).
The government was expected to announce this week whether Heathrow or Gatwick would be allowed to build an extra runway but that decision was delayed.
This week, the Royal Borough was joined by Greenpeace in its opposition to the third runway, and the environmental campaign group says it will help shoulder the costs of a legal challenge if it is necessary.
The council had already agreed to join forces with the London boroughs of Hillingdon, Richmond and Wandsworth to block any potential development of the airport.
Leader of the council Simon Dudley said: “The whole country wants a decision.”
He said he hoped it would be Gatwick, for ‘the benefit of the residents of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’.
“Greenpeace brings a lot of campaigning and environmental experience,” he added.
On Thursday, October 13, the Royal Borough agreed to set aside £50,000 to launch a legal challenge if the Government chooses to grant Heathrow a third runway.
Rob Gray, the campaign director for Back Heathrow, which supports building a third runway at the airport, said: “Local taxpayers will be angry that their money is being wasted on lawyers and unnecessary legal services instead of on vital public services.
“Greenpeace can spend its money how it likes but it is ironic that it should be backing the Royal Borough which actively supports Gatwick expansion when Greenpeace is supposed to oppose building any new runways anywhere.”
Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven described a potential third runway as an ‘air pollution and carbon time bomb’.
He added: “If ministers are willing to trample over these fundamental laws, we’re ready to take them to court to stop them.”
The delay came more than a year after the Airports Commission recommended expanding Heathrow, Britain’s busiest airport, in its final report published in July 2015.
More than 50 street parties are set to take place this weekend across the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and the surrounding areas.