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Cabinet at Royal Borough to consider backing Heathrow judicial review

The Cabinet at the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead will today (13 October) consider whether to support a potential judicial review challenge should the Government back plans for the expansion of Heathrow Airport.

A decision by the Government on the issue of runway capacity in the South East of England is imminent. Prime Minister Theresa May’s constituency is within RBWM’s area.

A paper prepared for a meeting of the Royal Borough’s Cabinet seeks approval for the council to work in partnership with its ‘2M partners’ – the London boroughs of Hillingdon, Richmond and Wandsworth.

It explores the possibility for seeking judicial review, should the Government decide to build a third runway at Heathrow.

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Kate Harrison of law firm Harrison Grant is acting as the specialist legal representative for 2M, and has previously written a number of letters to the Government outlining their objections to expansion at Heathrow.

The group’s argument, essentially, is that “expansion at Heathrow should be ruled out once and for all because that is what was promised by David Cameron and because Heathrow expansion would have unacceptable environmental impact”.

The Cabinet paper recommends that the Royal Borough partner with the three other authorities to secure a legal opinion on the judicial review process, and, if required, authorise instigation of judicial review.

It says that this option was “in line with the council’s position on expansion of Heathrow to date, and the mandate of residents reaffirmed through a residents’ survey in July 2016 and legal advice received from counsel”.

The paper seeks budget provision for £50,000 to be spent on the legal challenge. It says  the potential financial risk of losing a judicial review is estimated to be around £200,000 but the 2M partnership would reduce this impact. The partners of 2M are on an equal footing with a maximum financial exposure of circa £30,000, the paper adds.

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