Heathrow ex­pan­sion to trig­ger le­gal ac­tion

Coun­cils make a stand over third run­way is­sue

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

HEATHROW Air­port cam­paign­ers have spo­ken out af­ter coun­cils threat­ened David Cameron with le­gal ac­tion should the third run­way go ahead.

Four Con­ser­va­tive-run lo­cal au­thor­i­ties have ap­pointed a le­gal team, warn­ing that if the govern­ment did not rule out ex­pan­sion at Heathrow Air­port, then le­gal ac­tion will be launched.

The four lo­cal au­thor­i­ties are made up of the Lon­don bor­oughs of Hilling­don, Rich­mond and Wandsworth and the Royal Bor­ough of Wind­sor & Maiden­head.

All th­ese au­thor­i­ties are long-stand­ing op­po­nents of a third run­way at Heathrow.

Har­ri­son Grant Solic­i­tors has writ­ten to the prime min­is­ter on their be­half ex­plain­ing how ‘in­sur­mount­able en­vi­ron­men­tal prob­lems’ would make govern­ment back­ing for a new run­way ‘ir­ra­tional or oth­er­wise un­law­ful’.

Stop Heathrow Ex­pan­sion was founded in 2014 as a suc­ces­sor group to NoTrag, rep­re­sent­ing res­i­dents in the south of Hilling­don whose lives would be di­rectly im­pacted by Heathrow ex­pan­sion, and wel­comed the let­ter.

Cam­paign co­or­di­na­tor Robert Barn­stone said: “We wel­come this timely let­ter to David Cameron.

“It serves as an im­por­tant re­minder that he must not break his pledge that a third run­way will not go ahead, no ifs or buts.”

Chris­tine Tay­lor, Har­ling­ton res­i­dent and Stop Heathrow Ex­pan­sion sup­porter, said: “This is no idle threat.

“Res­i­dents of the Heathrow Vil­lages have had enough – we’ve been fight­ing this for over 30 years.

“We want to draw an end to the re­peated threat of Heathrow ex­pan­sion on our com­mu­ni­ties.”

But Pro-Heathrow ex­pan­sion group Back Heathrow say res­i­dents will be ‘fu­ri­ous’ at the threat from coun­cils.

Rob Gray, Back Heathrow’s cam­paign di­rec­tor, said: “Thou­sands of tax­pay­ers liv­ing in th­ese four bor­oughs will be fu­ri­ous that coun­cils are spend­ing their money on pre­par­ing to sue the govern­ment, rather than on pro­vid­ing vi­tal lo­cal ser­vices.

“Many res­i­dents work at Heathrow and lo­cal busi­nesses have strong links with the UK’s largest sin­gle site em­ployer.

“They will won­der why tax­pay­ers’ money is be­ing squan­dered in this way.

“Heathrow is a vi­tal na­tional as­set and the govern­ment should not be held to ran­som by four coun­cils when there is enor­mous sup­port for ex­pan­sion from lo­cal res­i­dents, busi­nesses, com­mu­ni­ties and MPs across the UK.”

n THREATS: An artist’s im­pres­sion show­ing the site of a pro­posed third run­way to the north-west of Heathrow; (below left) Stop Heathrow Ex­pan­sion sup­porter Chris­tine Tay­lor; (below right) Back Heathrow cam­paign di­rec­tor Rob Gray

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