Council agrees to allocate £50,000 for Heathrow legal challenge

David Lee

Councils disappointed with Heathrow Airport decision delay

A proposed judicial review into the Airports Commission’s ruling on airport expansion will ‘help protect close to one million residents’, according to the leader of the Royal Borough.

The council held crunch talks at Maidenhead Town Hall today, where it agreed to spend £50,000 to launch a legal challenge if the Government chooses to grant Heathrow a third runway.

In June, cabinet agreed to set aside £10,000 for legal advice and £20,000 should any judicial review be necessary with regards to a Heathrow expansion challenge.

today's meeting saw a further £20,000 added to its legal challenge budget.

The Royal Borough has already joined forces with the London boroughs of Hillingdon, Richmond and Wandsworth to block any potential development of the airport.

Leader of the council Cllr Simon Dudley told the Cabinet Prioritisation Sub Committee: “Between the four local authorities including ourselves, we speak for close to one million residents.

“All four of those local authorities have joined together here and are united to protect their one million residents. That’s what this is about.”

Cllr Derek Wilson (Con, Oldfield) said Heathrow expansion had to be opposed due to the housing pressure it would place on the borough.

While Cllr Phil Bicknell (Con, Park) added: “You will get aircraft drop out of the sky at anytime in the middle of the night and it’s waking children up across the borough.

“I think that we’re in danger of wrecking their chances going forward in life.”

Any legal challenge to the Airports Commission’s ruling was described as ‘bound to failure’, according to a Heathrow spokesperson.

The airport said: “The Government’s decision on airport capacity will follow a rigorous, independent, £20m, two and a half year deep-dive in to the issue, including a public consultation.

“It confirmed that Heathrow would not delay compliance with EU air quality limits, would see fewer people affected by noise [subject to environmental conditions which we have met and exceeded] and was the best choice for expansion.

“Any judicial review would be bound to failure and would not affect the timeline for the delivery of an additional runway at Heathrow.”

The Airports Commission is expected to make its decision later this month.

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