Heathrow Airport: Councils set for third runway legal fight

image captionHeathrow wants to open a third runway by the middle of the next decade

A coalition of local authorities will mount a legal fight over Heathrow's third runway if the government does not alter its plans, says a council leader.

Simon Dudley, leader of Windsor and Maidenhead borough council, said four authorities and Greenpeace would seek a review if MPs approve unchanged plans.

He said the partnership wants the government to "satisfactorily address concerns" over noise and air pollution.

Authorities in Hillingdon, Richmond and Wandsworth are thought to be involved.

Cabinet ministers have today given the official go-ahead for Heathrow expansion, with MPs due to vote on the plans "in the coming weeks".

image captionThe plans that will see a school and a local trading estate demolished, as well as homes in Longford, Harmondsworth and Sipson.

Mr Dudley said: "We will look at the proposals to see whether our significant concerns have been addressed."

They centre on issues of "respite, night flights and noise", which he says will affect residents of surrounding areas.

"If they have not, whether or not Windsor and Maidenhead Council is involved, there will be a legal challenge".

The government backs expansion, despite opposition from local residents and key political figures like Boris Johnson, because they argue it offers the greatest economic benefits.

Greenpeace and the local authorities contend new evidence on the severe health impacts of air and noise pollution makes the expansion of Heathrow far less likely to pass a review.

image copyrightSimon Dudley
image captionSimon Dudley said he had "significant" concerns about noise and air pollution

Wandsworth, Richmond and Hillingdon councils have previously spent £300,000 from their general funds on legal action.

Hillingdon Council's leader has previously said it would provide funding to challenge it for "however long it takes to win this battle".

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