Wandsworth Council leader promises to head back to courts to get Heathrow Airport decision overturned
The leader of Wandsworth Council has strongly denounced the decision to expand Heathrow Airport today.
It was announced earlier in the day that ministers had chosen to build a third runway at Heathrow, instead of a second at Gatwick, with Transport Secretary Chris Grayling telling the House of Commons the decision was in the best interest of the country and would bolster its economy.
The expansion means that new flight paths will be formed across Wandsworth, parts of which have never experienced noise pollution before.
Councillor Ravi Govindia has long been against the creation of a new runway at the UK’s busiest airport and repeated this in a statement.
“The airport boasts illegal levels of air pollution, woefully inadequate transport capacity and has Europe’s worst noise footprint, and that’s just with two runways,” he said.
“Expansion will make all of these severely damaging issues worse.
“It’s wrong on every level, legally undeliverable and will end in failure after years of wasted effort.”
Cllr Govindia also announced plans to try and overturn the decision in a move reminiscent of the appeal over Gordon Brown’s backing of the third runway earlier in the decade.
“This is deeply distressing news for the communities around this airport but this fight is far from over,” he added.
“Ultimately it will be for the courts to decide if this project goes ahead and the law is on our side.
“It looks like we’re heading back to the courts just as we did in 2010 after the Brown Government backed Heathrow’s third runway.
“We overturned that decision in the High Court and nothing has changed since then to make expanding this airport any less damaging.”
Legal action was first threatened in March when a number of bodies, including Wandsworth Council and Greenpeace UK, appointed solicitors to prepare a ruling should the decision to expand be taken.
They will now be examining the announcement in great detail before developing a legal strategy over the next few days.