Windsor & Maidenhead Council sets aside further £100,000 (adding to £50,000 already) for Heathrow legal battle

A further £100,000 will be set aside to fund the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead’s [the Prime Minister’s constituency] legal challenge against a 3rd Heathrow runway.  Council Leader Cllr Simon Dudley said on Friday, following a meeting with legal counsel and a vote within the ruling Conservative Group, that councillors had overwhelmingly agreed to take a stand against the proposed expansion. The Royal Borough is taking part in the legal challenge, alongside Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth, and Hammersmith & Fulham local authorities and the Mayor of London to challenge the Government’s decision. Cllr Dudley said: “We’re putting another £100,000 in which is right at the top end of what we’ll need. We don’t put spending taxpayer’s money lightly and I have been clear that we won’t be caught up in frivolous legal action.” The additional money will be taken from the council’s cash reserves and will be added on to the £50,000 that has already been set aside for a potential legal challenge. The Government has left itself ‘wide open’ over its air quality obligations, and there is no clarity how adding the runway would comply with air quality limits. The DCO to build the runway would be derailed if the pending judicial review succeeds.
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Windsor & Maidenhead Council sets aside further £100,000 for Heathrow legal battle

By David Lee (Windsor and Eton Express)

12 July 2018

Council sets aside further £100,000 for Heathrow legal battle
A further £100,000 will be set aside to fund the Royal Borough’s legal challenge against a third runway at Heathrow Airport, according to the council leader.

Cllr Simon Dudley announced on Friday that, following a meeting with legal counsel and a vote within the ruling Conservative Group, councillors had overwhelmingly agreed to take a stand against the proposed expansion.

The Royal Borough will now line-up alongside local authorities including Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Hammersmith and Fulham to challenge the Government’s decision.

Cllr Dudley (Con, Riverside) said: “It’s quite a line-up, maybe even stronger than the England side.”

“We’re putting another £100,000 in which is right at the top end of what we’ll need.

“We don’t put spending taxpayer’s money lightly and I have been clear that we won’t be caught up in frivolous legal action.”

The additional money will be taken from the council’s cash reserves and will be added on to the £50,000 that has already been set aside for a potential legal challenge.

The council leader added that the Government had left itself ‘wide open’ over its air quality obligations and demanded evidence over how the construction of a third runway would comply with air quality.

“We’ve got obligations to meet with air quality standards and that can be driven by surface transport movements,” he said.

“When people talk about expansion, it’s like putting a Gatwick next to Heathrow.

“How are they going to achieve the level of surface transport movements to ensure they comply with air quality?”

Any legal challenge, which could also involve charity Greenpeace and the Mayor of London, will need to be lodged by the first week of August.

The airport is currently developing an application for development consent which could see construction begin in 2021.

But progress could be derailed in the event of a pending judicial review.

https://www.windsorexpress.co.uk/gallery/maidenhead/133505/extra-100-000-for-third-runway-legal-battle.html

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See earlier:

 

Government accused by Councils of ignoring Transport Select Committee recommendations in final Heathrow NPS

Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Windsor &Maidenhead, and Richmond Councils have accused the government of misleading MPs on the Heathrow runway plans (the Airports NPS). They say the government has only incorporated 3 out of 25 of the recommendations by the Transport Select Committee (TSC) recommendations into the final NPS, while trying to give the impression it has taken far more account of them. Chris Grayling told the Commons (5th June) that 24 of the 25 recommendations had been “acted upon” and that expansion at Heathrow had been agreed by the Cabinet. The 4 councils are calling on Mr Grayling to return to Parliament and explain to MPs why the TSC advice has been brushed aside. The Councils need to see a definition of an acceptable maximum number of people newly exposed to plane noise, by a 3rd runway. Among their demands, they want assurance that planning approval would only be granted if the target for no more airport-related traffic can be met.  Also a more stringent interpretation of air quality compliance including ‘headroom’ to manage future increases in pollution – and clarity on how the requirement for 15% of new slots will be secured for domestic connections, rather than just warm, woolly wording.  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2018/06/government-accused-by-councils-of-ignoring-transport-select-committee-recommendations-in-final-heathrow-nps/


Mayor, Sadiq Khan, ready to join legal action by Councils against 3rd runway at Heathrow

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The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will join the legal action brought by local councils (Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor & Maidenhead)against Heathrow expansion if Parliament votes in favour of a 3rd runway on 25th June. (Hammersmith and Fulham Council has also recently indicated they would join.)  Sadiq has reiterated his opposition to the Government’s decision to back Heathrow expansion and emphasised the significant environmental and noise impacts that a third runway would have on Londoners’ lives, as well as concerns about funding necessary transport improvements. To date, TfL have provided valuable technical support to the local councils. The Government has failed to show any plans for how it will fund the billions of pounds needed to improve road and rail connections to the airport and prevent huge congestion across the transport network. TfL estimates approximately £15bn more investment will be needed when necessary new rail and road links are taken into account, and TfL (Londoners) would have to find the money. The comprehensive recommendations on the NPS by the Transport Select Committee have also not been accepted by Government.   
http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2018/06/mayor-sadiq-khan-ready-to-join-legal-action-by-councils-against-3rd-runway-at-heathrow/
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Heathrow criticised by key London councils for jumping the gun on Government expansion decision

The latest consultation from Heathrow is ‘jumping the gun’ – according to Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor & Maidenhead councils.  The Leaders of 3 councils have slammed Heathrow for holding a consultation when the Government are yet to make a decision on whether or not the airport should be expanded at all.  Parliamentary scrutiny on the Governments proposals is still underway, with a vote by MPs due later this year. As part of this process, tens of thousands of people have already had their say, making it clear that expansion at Heathrow is not deliverable. The Leaders argue that any expansion of the airport would have a devastating impact on West London  – causing immense damage to the environment and people’s health, tear communities apart, see an unacceptable rise in noise and air pollution, and potentially cost taxpayers £15bn.  The latest Heathrow consultation fails to recognise any of this well documented feedback. Confusingly, this latest consultation is also seeking residents’ initial views on how airspace and flight paths should be designed in the future (concentrated or less concentrated…)  The councils view is that the noise burden is too high now and all efforts should be made to minimise the number of people impacted by noise. Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, said: “I find the fact that Heathrow seem to think this is a done deal absolutely appalling.”    

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2018/01/heathrow-criticised-by-key-london-councils-for-jumping-the-gun-on-government-expansion-decision/

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Hammersmith & Fulham Council will join the 4 councils’ legal challenge against Heathrow 3rd runway

Hammersmith & Fulham Council has vowed to keep fighting plans for a third runway at Heathrow, even if Parliament votes in favour of it. The council has said it will seek to join any legal challenge against a decision in favour of expanding the west London airport – a move the council says would subject residents to a mire of misery and pollution. Council Leader Stephen Cowan said:  “We absolutely refuse to sit back and let such a potentially catastrophic decision be made without a fight, We’ve made our stance very clear; a third runway at Heathrow would mean more noise for residents already suffering noise disturbance, more pressure on our roads and an unacceptable increase in air pollution. If we need to take legal action, we will, as the environmental cost of meekly accepting a decision in favour of expansion, would be far worse.” In 2014, H&F Council set up a resident-led commission to investigate the potential effects of expansion on residents’ lives. It reported back that the overall impact of Heathrow expansion would be negative, with any benefits unlikely to be felt by those in H&F.    
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Court rules that legal challenge by 4 councils cannot be heard until final Heathrow NPS published

Four councils that a negatively affected by Heathrow, plus Greenpeace and a local resident, applied for a legal challenge against the DfT because of its plans for a Heathrow 3rd runway. The case has now been struck out, at the High Court, by Mr Justice Cranston, on the grounds that the court had no jurisdiction to hear the claim, because of the provision in the Planning Act 2008 which said that proceedings may only be brought in a six-week period that followed once the NPS was adopted, or if later, published.  The claim is “precluded” until the NPS is published, and that might be the end of 2017 or early 2018. The court can then consider the challenge. The legal claim is because there was a failure by government to consult residents before going back on promises made repeatedly that a 3rd runway would not be built. John Sauven (Greenpeace) said: ‘Today’s ruling was about the timing of our legal challenge, not its merit. It doesn’t change the fact that ministers have no solution to the huge air and noise pollution problems caused by a third runway.”  Ravi Govindia (Wandsworth) said “The country is now going to waste more time developing a scheme that will never pass a simple legal test on air quality. Nothing is going to change between now and 2018 to make this scheme any less polluting.”   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2018/02/transport-for-london-may-join-legal-challenge-against-heathrow-runway-due-to-lack-of-clarity-on-surface-transport/

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