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Councils win Heathrow runway review

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A group of councils opposed to Heathrow expansion have been told they can challenge the Government’s decision to approve a third runway at the airport.

The 2M Group of local authorities have been told that an application launched by local authorities and campaigners for a judicial review against expansion at Heathrow will be considered in open court in the autumn.

Speaking on behalf of the 2M Group, Ray Puddifoot said: “The number of organisations backing this challenge is unprecedented and we are pleased that the Judge has recognised the huge public interest in the case when ordering this hearing.

For the local authorities the real concern is that the Government has not proved that a third runway can be operated without breaching air pollution limits, making noise worse or creating intolerable congestion on local roads and public transport.

On behalf of the thousands of people whose lives will be blighted by this expansion, we will continue to push for a just resolution.”

Wandsworth Council leader Edward Lister welcomed the High Court decision and said it would allow much greater scrutiny of the reasons behind the Government’s decision.

He added: “This is great news for the many millions of Londoners who already suffer from aircraft noise and pollution at Heathrow, and who, thanks to ministers, can expect that situation to become even more intolerable if a third runway is ever built.

“What today’s announcement means that is that we will be able to challenge all the reasons given by former transport secretary Geoff Hoon when he approved the airport’s expansion plans in January this year.

“We have always felt that the decision to green light the third runway flew in the face of logic and was deeply flawed and it is clear that a High Court Judge has recognised that there is a significant public interest in this case.”

Authorities bringing the challenge include Hammersmith and Fulham, Hounslow, Hillingdon, Richmond upon Thames, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead councils. All are members of the 2M Group opposed to Heathrow expansion.

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