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Airports decision: Legal threat hangs over report

The report recommending an expansion of Heathrow Airport to ministers could be subject to a judicial review, its leading author has admitted.

Sir Howard Davies said at least one party was considering a legal challenge to his Airports Commission’s final report.

The study reached a verdict that a new northwest runway at Heathrow was the best way to deal with an air capacity crisis in the South East.

But this proposal has faced significant opposition from organisations including campaign body Hacan, as well as from politicians including mayor of London Boris Johnson.

Davies said today: “One group is contemplating a judicial review and we will respond to them shortly.

“We believe our report is legally defensible. We have taken legal advice throughout.

“We believe many of the threatened legal challenges are unfeasible but it’s perfectly possible [one will emerge].

“We are confident in the integrity of what we have done.”

Johnson – a long-term advocate of a new airport in the Thames Estuary – this morning said the report could be “judicially reviewed from here to Kingdom come” and was “politically undelilverable”.

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