Heathrow wants 2021 date

Air­port hope­ful third run­way con­struc­tion will go ahead in five years

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Amita Joshi amita.joshi@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

HEATHROW Air­port bosses are ‘con­fi­dent’ the third run­way con­struc­tion will go ahead in 2021, de­spite the le­gal chal­lenge fac­ing the govern­ment over ex­pan­sion pro­pos­als.

Speak­ing to the Gazette, CEO of the air­port, John Hol­land-Kaye, said they are con­fi­dent the plans are de­liv­er­able and show they have ad­dressed the con­cerns of lo­cal res­i­dents.

Di­rec­tor of ex­ter­nal re­la­tions Nigel Mil­ton said: “As long as prime min­is­ter Theresa May and chan­cel­lor Philip Ham­mond are in govern­ment, we will get through to 2021 and start third run­way con­struc­tion.”

Mr Mil­ton said se­lect­ing Heathrow showed the prime min­is­ter’s com­mit­ment to Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions by keep­ing the coun­try open for in­ter­na­tional trade.

The mes­sage from Heathrow comes as lawyers on be­half of Hilling­don Coun­cil gave a stark warn­ing to the govern­ment in a let­ter on Novem­ber 17, call­ing on it to force the air­port to with­draw its ap­pli­ca­tion.

The 33-page let­ter, penned by so­lic­i­tors Har­ri­son Grant, ar­gues the govern­ment’s de­ci­sion is un­law­ful be­cause of the im­pacts on air qual­ity and noise pol­lu­tion.

Hilling­don, Richmond, Wandsworth and Wind­sor and Maiden­head coun­cils, along with Green­peace, make up those who will be launch­ing the chal­lenge against the Tory govern­ment’s de­ci­sion to ex­pand in west Lon­don.

Leader of Hilling­don Coun­cil Ray Pud­di­foot said last week: “I was in the High Court in March 2010 at the last ju­di­cial re­view on Heathrow ex­pan­sion when the judge re­ferred to the third run­way plans as ‘un­ten­able in law and com­mon sense’.

“Six years on it is un­be­liev­able that the cur­rent govern­ment are pro­mot­ing an ex­pan­sion that is still un­ten­able in law and com­mon sense and it is sim­ply not ac­cept­able in this coun­try.

“This is the first round of this le­gal chal­lenge and while we should win by a knock­out in the first round, we are pre­pared for a long fight if nec­es­sary.”

Dur­ing the Mayor’s Ques­tion Time last week (Novem­ber 16), Sadiq Khan also an­nounced he will be back­ing the le­gal chal­lenge against the third run­way.

The le­gal chal­lenge is just one of a string of events since May’s de­ci­sion at the end of Oc­to­ber, the lat­est see­ing 15 peo­ple charged for ob­struct­ing a high­way near the M4 dur­ing a RiseUp! protest on Satur­day Novem­ber 20.

A spokesman for the Depart­ment for Trans­port said in re­sponse to the le­gal chal­lenge last week: “We be­lieve the Heathrow North­west Run­way can be de­liv­ered in line with our obli­ga­tions on air qual­ity, with a suit­able pack­age of pol­icy and mit­i­ga­tion mea­sures.

“We are un­able to com­ment on the de­tail of any le­gal pro­ceed­ings, but we are con­fi­dent that our process for de­ci­sion-mak­ing is ro­bust and will strongly de­fend any chal­lenge.”

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