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Heathrow third runway battle begins today

A coalition of councils, residents and environmental campaigners today start their legal challenge against a third runway at heathrow Airport.

London’s High Court will hear there were fundamental flaws in the Government’s original consultation process to expand the UK’s biggest airport.

Lawyers representing the coalition will argue that the decision to build a third runway, announced by then transport secretary Geoff Hoon in January 2009, counteracts Britain’s overall climate change targets.

Chief Executive of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Shaun Spiers, said: “Proceeding with the third runway would destroy not just a village and a large swathe of Green Belt but also tranquillity over a much wider area. Countryside, parks and gardens in and beyond north and west London would fall under the shadow of new flight paths and the din of thousands of extra flights.”

CPRE, Greenpeace, 19 London boroughs and six local councils are part of the group opposing the expansion plans, which require losing the nearby village of Sipson.

Government claims that the new runway will be adequately served by public transport cannot be backed up with evidence, the group will argue in the High Court.

Ray Puddifoot, leader of Hillingdon Council, said: “We’ve had no choice but to go to court to sort out the mess left behind by a decision that was little more than a quick fix.

“From the moment Geoff Hoon announced his decision to the House it has steadily unravelled.”

The Tories have signalled their opposition to building a third Heathrow runway.

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