‘Major obstacle’ to runway
Council leader demands consultation on flightpaths
HILLINGDON Council leader Ray Puddifoot is demanding the Government carry out consultations on flightpaths before deciding whether or not to allow a third runway at Heathrow.
He has written to the Prime Minister to express his view that an expanded Heathrow would be unlawful unless the new flightpaths needed to operate an additional landing strip are first subject to public consultation.
David Cameron has said his government will announce its decision by the end of the year.
Cllr Puddifoot, said: “Even the airports commission has to agree that runways need flightpaths. If you approve one you have to approve the other.
“It will be unlawful for any government to approve a new runway without publishing detailed flightpath data so the communities affected can exercise their legal right to scrutinise the plans.
“This is a major obstacle that can’t be put off much longer.”
The Leaders of Richmond and Wandsworth Councils have joined Hillingdon in writing to the Prime Minister to highlight what they see as flaws and omissions in the Airports Commission’s final report on aviation capacity.
They point out that by law, changes to London’s airspace require open consultation so a decision to expand Heathrow would pre-empt this statutory process.
Mr Cameron is considering the commission’s dossier which recommends expanding Heathrow.
Despite scrutinising the new runway proposal for more than two years the commissioners failed to identify the location of its new flightpaths, nor carry out the necessary consultation.
Instead, the final report, which costs tax payers in the region of £25m, asks ministers to approve a third runway at Heathrow without telling them where the planes will fly over London and the south east.
The local councils have now pointed out that the commission’s recommendation is pointing the Government down a legal cul-de-sac and has urged the PM to dismiss the report.
The letter concludes that the local authorities “reserve their rights to take whatever action is in their power to protect their residents and communities from the devastating impacts of a new runway at Heathrow.”
Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council, said: “The law is very clear. Communities have to be consulted on air space firstname.lastname@example.org
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n CONSULTATION CALL: Cllr Ray Puddifoot, leader of Hillingdon Council