Heathrow third runway faces legal challenge

A coalition of local authorities, local protest groups and leading environmental groups are launching a legal challenge against  plans for a third runway at Heathrow airport.

The group, which includes Greenpeace and the Campaign to Protect Rural England, will argue at the High Court that the government’s consultation process was “fundamentally flawed”.

They will also argue against the expansion on the grounds of climate change and lack of public transport.

If the project goes ahead,  2,000 people in the neighbouring village of Sipson will lose their homes, while many more local residents will find themselves living within a few hundred yards of the new runway.

Hillingdon Council leader Ray Puddifoot told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “Running at full capacity…it will produce an extra 23 and a half tonnes a year of CO2 – that’s as much as the 54 least polluting countries produce every year.”

The government approved plans to build the extension in January 2009. The Conservative Party has already vowed to reverse the decision if it comes into power.

A judge is expected to deliver a ruling by the end of next week.

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