An unlikely alliance of a group of local councils and Greenpeace says they have served legal papers on the government for supporting the expansion of Heathrow.
In a legal submission to the High Court, the coalition of Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead councils, together with Greenpeace is seeking a Judicial Review of the government’s decision to support the expansion of the airport.
Together, the claimants argue that the Government has failed to recognise the project’s air quality impacts, and that the consultation held to make the decision was flawed.
Cllr Ray Puddifoot, Leader of Hillingdon Council said: ”The Government has stubbornly refused to accept that it is breaking the law on the very important issue of air quality in relation to Heathrow. Therefore, this Council, together with the London Boroughs of Wandsworth and Richmond upon Thames, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Greenpeace and a Hillingdon resident, have had no option other than to issue judicial review proceedings in the High Court.
“There are two grounds of challenge at this stage. In addition to our claim that there has been a significant breach of established air quality laws, we have also claimed that the Government has acted contrary to our legitimate expectation that it would honour its repeated promises not to expand Heathrow. However, it has been made very clear to the Government that we have fully reserved our position in relation to other matters of complaint such as climate change, equalities, noise pollution and the economic case for Heathrow expansion and that, if necessary, further legal proceedings will be brought in the future.”
A Back Heathrow spokesperson said: “Many local taxpayers will be angry that their money is being wasted on lawyers instead of being used to fund vital public services.
“These four councils should not be squandering money allocated to them by hardworking taxpayers, many of whom value the prosperity that Heathrow brings to the local area.”