Heathrow Villagers welcome legal warning to Cameron, by 4 councils, of legal threat if 3rd runway is approved
Four Conservative-run local authorities have appointed a legal team, (Harrison Grant Solicitors) warning that if the Government did not rule out a 3rd Heathrow runway, then legal action will be launched. The four are the London Boroughs of Hillingdon, Richmond-upon-Thames, Wandsworth and the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead. All are long-standing opponents of a 3rd runway. The solicitors have written to the Prime Minister on their behalf explaining how “insurmountable environmental problems” would make government backing for a new runway “irrational or otherwise unlawful”. Local campaign group in the Heathrow Villages, “Stop Heathrow Expansion” representing residents in the south of Hillingdon whose lives would be directly impacted by the runway, welcomed the letter. Christine Taylor, Harlington resident and Stop Heathrow Expansion supporter, said: “Residents of the Heathrow Villages have had enough – we’ve been fighting this for over 30 years. We want to draw an end to the repeated threat of Heathrow expansion on our communities.” Rob Gray, the voice of the “Back Heathrow” group, complains residents will be furious that councils are spending money. He ignores the fact that residents could be equally furious that Heathrow has, yet again, put the councils in the position where they have little choice other than to defend themselves from the airport’s plans.
Heathrow Airport third runway: Campaigners react to legal threat from councils
BY KATHERINE CLEMENTINE (Get West London)
Heathrow villagers say the threat will provide a reminder to David Cameron’s ‘no third runway’ pledge, but a waste of money say pro-expansion group
Christine Taylor, from Harlington, and the Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE) group. And Rob Gray, [the (only?) employee of “Back Heathrow” with a model taxi. Certainly taxi drivers who work at Heathrow back expansion, and other airport workers and their families. But how many others locally?]
Heathrow Airport campaigners have spoken out after councils threatened David Cameron with legal action , should the third runway go ahead.
Four Conservative-run local authorities appointed a legal team, warning that if the Government did not rule out expansion at Heathrow Airport, then legal action will be launched.
The four local authorities are made up of the London Boroughs of Hillingdon , Richmond-upon-Thames, Wandsworth and the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead.
All these authorities are long-standing opponents of a third runway at Heathrow.
Harrison Grant Solicitors has written to the prime minister on their behalf explaining how “insurmountable environmental problems” would make government backing for a new runway “irrational or otherwise unlawful”.
Heathrow villagers have ‘had enough’
Stop Heathrow Expansion was founded in 2014 as a successor group to NoTrag, representing residents in the south of Hillingdon whose lives would be directly impacted by Heathrow expansion, and welcomed the letter.
Robert Barnstone, Campaign Co-ordinator, said: “We welcome this timely letter to David Cameron. It serves as an important reminder that he must not break his pledge that a third runway will not go ahead, no ifs or buts”.
Christine Taylor, Harlington resident and Stop Heathrow Expansion supporter, said: ” This is no idle threat.
“Residents of the Heathrow Villages have had enough – we’ve been fighting this for over 30 years.
“We want to draw an end to the repeated threat of Heathrow expansion on our communities.”
‘Squandered’ taxpayers’ money
But Pro-Heathrow expansion group, Back Heathrow, say residents will be “furious” at the threat from councils.
Robert Gray, Back Heathrow Campaign Director, said: “Thousands of taxpayers living in these four boroughs will be furious that councils are spending their money on preparing to sue the Government, rather than on providing vital local services.
“Many residents work at Heathrow and local businesses have strong links with the UK’s largest single site employer; they will wonder why taxpayers’ money is being squandered in this way.
“Heathrow is a vital national asset and the government should not be held to ransom by four councils when there is enormous support for expansion from local residents, businesses, communities and MPs across the UK.”
[Rob Gray ignores the fact that residents could be equally furious that Heathrow has, yet again, put the councils in the position where they have little choice other than to defend themselves from the airport’s plans – which would have hugely negative impacts on the areas the councils look after. AW comment]
Four councils affected by Heathrow threaten to take legal action against Government if it backs Heathrow runway
Four Conservative controlled councils – Hillingdon, Richmond upon Thames, Wandsworth and Windsor & Maidenhead councils – are preparing to sue the government over a proposed 3rd Heathrow runway. The four councils are near Heathrow, and affected adversely by it. The warning to David Cameron, from their lawyers, says an escalation in the number of flights would be “irrational and unlawful”. The legal letter to No 10 says court proceedings will be launched unless the Prime Minister categorically rules out expansion of Heathrow. It says “insurmountable environmental problems” around the airport mean it can never be expanded without subjecting residents to excessive pollution and noise. The councils have believed, since the launch of the (government appointed) Airports Commission’s final report, that it made a “flawed assessment” of Heathrow’s ability to deal with environmental issues (noise, NO2, and carbon emissions among them). The councils also say David Cameron’s previous promise – “No ifs, No buts, no 3rd runway” – had created a “legitimate expectation” among residents that there would be no runway. The authorities have appointed Harrison Grant, the solicitors that led a successful High Court challenge in 2010 against the former Labour government’s attempt to expand Heathrow.