Dismay as Judge allows Newham green light to London City Airport expansion

20.1.2011 (Friends of the Earth press release):

Local people and green campaigners reacted with disappointment today after a
High Court judge refused to overturn Newham Council’s decision to expand London
City Airport. Campaigners are now considering an appeal.

Residents, represented by Friends of the Earth’s Rights and Justice Centre, took
the council to court in November last year after it decided to allow a 50 per
cent increase in flights. The community representatives argued that Newham Council
failed to consider changes to Government policy on climate change and did not
properly consult boroughs and residents in the surrounding area.
Reacting to the decision, Chair of local campaign group Fight the Flights Anne-Marie
Griffin said:

“We are desperately disappointed by this judgement.

“London City Airport already causes major disturbance and pollution for people
living locally – the disappointment we feel at this outcome will be shared by
thousands of residents across East London who are severely affected by London
City Airport’s operations but were not consulted about expansion.

“Without clear guidelines to local councils on aviation expansion, the emissions
targets set have no hope of being met.

“Fight the Flights is currently taking legal advice as to whether to appeal.”

Friends of the Earth’s London Campaigner Jenny Bates said:

“Airport expansion will have a terrible impact on local people’s quality of life,
as well as increase air pollution breaches and undermine efforts to tackle climate

“Many of the destinations served by London City Airport could easily be reached
by fast rail travel.

“If this Government wants to keep its pledge to be the greenest ever it must
develop a transport strategy which encourages people to use greener forms of transport
over climate-wrecking flights.”


Notes to editors:

1. The High Court hearing took place on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 November 2010
at the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand in London.

2. Newham Council’s decision to expand London City Airport by 50 per cent will
increase flights from the airport from 73,000 to 120,000 a year. The decision
was made in October 2008, after which Friends of the Earth’s Rights and Justice
Centre submitted a number of letters on behalf of Fight The Flights to Newham
council in protest, raising the issues of climate change, air quality and race

3. On 15 January 2009 the Government announced its intention to reduce aviation
emissions to below 2005 levels by 2050. Newham Council issued a formal grant of
planning permission at a meeting on 8 July 2009 without taking into account the
Government’s target in their decision-making.

4. Fight the Flights: http://www.fighttheflights.com/

5. Friends of the Earth’s Rights and Justice Centre provides access to legal
advice and representation to people wishing to use the law to protect their communities
and the environment. The Centre operates a free legal advice line for members
of the public on 0808 801 0405 (open between 6.30-8.30 pm on alternate Wednesdays).

6. Friends of the Earth believes the environment is for everyone. We want a healthy
planet and a good quality of life for all those who live on it. We inspire people
to act together for a thriving environment. More than 90 per cent of our income
comes from individuals so we rely on donations to continue our vital work. For
further information visit
Contact: Neil Verlander, Friends of the Earth press office, 0207 566 1649
Anne-Marie Griffin, Chair of Fight the Flights: Tel: 07984 300558

see also
20.1.2011  (Greater London Authority Lib Dem press release)

City Airport’s expansion is a green light to increased misery for many more Londoners
– Caroline Pidgeon


Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting
on today’s Judicial Review decision upholding Newham Council’s decision to significantly
expand London City Airport said:

“Many people in east and south east London are already facing serious problems
with noise and disturbance from air flights. Today’s decision provides the green
light to increased misery for many more Londoners.
“I remain convinced that greater scrutiny should have been given to the initial
planning decision by Newham Council. Questions also remain as to why Greenwich
Council never objected to the planning decision despite the serious impact that
the airport is already having on so many of its residents.
“Most significantly this decision sends out the message that the economic benefits
of aviation are still being exaggerated while its environmental harm is largely
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