Council should challenge flights
WHILE Hillingdon Council justify the expenditure of £80,000 on legal fees to fight Heathrow expansion (Evening Standard, December 15) the council tells me it has neither the resources or in fact, the will, to challenge the Northolt Jet Company.
They choose to ignore the nearly 10,000 noisy, polluting low-flying jets already imposed on residents (9,910 commercial jets in 2015 – MOD statistics).
This Council’s failure to represent residents is, I believe, total .
It would be hard to find an incidence of local government failure of duty on this scale.
Whilst the majority of flight movements at Northolt are commercial the council choses to ignore the whole business on the grounds that it cannot challenge the aerodrome’s military jurisdiction.
In fact the council has many powers to do so.
When the number of jets was increased to 12,000 in 2012 the council failed to insist on consultation, they did not request an application for planning permission or certificate of lawfulness.
At a time when the effects of pollution are well documented (WHO estimate that one in eight people will die prematurely from pollution) this council did not carry out an environmental impact assessment.
The council continues to ignore major safety issues stating it is satisfied with the existing vague dialogue between the MOD and the CAA.
I believe that increases in air movements are imminent. Northolt Aerodrome has a capacity of 50,000 flight movements accommodating 3.3 million passengers (see the MOD’s report entitled Project Ark in the public domain), a capacity which the MOD will be keen to achieve.
This council has confirmed to me that it will not be challenging further commercial flight movement increases.
This council should fulfil its obligations under the Local Government Act by taking up a community leadership role.
The leader and cabinet should commit to the only outcome in the interests of residents’ health and living conditions – the closure of the VIP commercial jet business.
The law and government guidelines on the use of public assets states that small numbers of citizens should not carry the burden for topping up ministerial income.
This council should challenge military jurisdiction legally and insist on full and complete information from the MOD.
The residents of this borough could then make informed decisions to prevent the development of conditions similar to those near London City Airport.
ANNA WILLIAMS via email