Hillingdon Borough is among a colaition of councils staging a legal challenge to kill plans for a third runway.
But the legal battle has ground to a halt for the time being after a Judge ruled that any judicial review examining the legality of the plans, including air quality impact, cannot be heard until after designation of a National Policy Statement on aviation, which is anticipated in 2018.
Cllr Ray Puddifoot, Conservative, Leader of Hillingdon Borough Council, has hit out at delays to the legal challenge.
He and fellow campaigners argued that the case should be heard now before more time and taxpayers’ money is wasted developing a scheme that will never be able to comply with air quality law.
Cllr Puddifoot said: “The blatant waste of public money by the Government is lamentable. People right across London have repeatedly voiced their opposition to expand Heathrow and our job continues to be to challenge this terrible decision to allow a third runway.
“The ruling is the first step in what will be a losing battle for Heathrow and the Government.”
Expansion has received support, however, with over 100,000 residents signing up to the Back Heathrow campaign.
Campaign Director Rob Gray, said: “Residents will benefit from having a vital national asset on their doorstep. 77,000 additional jobs would be generated which could eradicate youth unemployment in the area.”
On claims of detrimental health effects that a third runway would cause, Mr Gray stated: “Heathrow has reduced emissions by 16% over the last five years and its noise footprint continues to shrink.”
Christine Taylor has been fighting expansion since 2002 along with other members of Stop Heathrow Expansion. She said: “The whole community will be effected. The villages of Sipsom, Longford, Harmondsworth and Harlington will all be unliveable.
“Something that will affect so many people is wrong and simply should not be approved.”
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “A new runway at Heathrow will improve connectivity in the UK itself and crucially boost our connections with the rest of the world, supporting exports, trade and job opportunities. This isn’t just a great deal for business, it’s a great deal for passengers who will also benefit from access to more airlines, destinations and flights.
“This is an important issue for the whole country. That is why the government’s preferred scheme will be subject to full and fair public consultation. Of course it is also hugely important for those living near the airport.
“That is why we have made clear that expansion will only be allowed to proceed on the basis of a world class package of compensation and mitigation worth up to £2.6 billion, including community support, insulation, and respite from noise – balancing the benefits and the impacts of expansion.”
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “An expanded Heathrow will create new routes and trade destinations to deliver the Prime Minister’s vision of a global Britain.
The launch of the Government’s National Policy Statement consultation is a key milestone in our plans, and we look forward to working with our local communities, airlines and the Government to ensure Heathrow expansion is affordable, sustainable and benefits all of Britain.”
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