Heathrow Airport's chief executive has vowed to ‘crack on with the planning process’, despite threats of a judicial review from local authorities opposed to a planned third runway.
John Holland-Kaye told Transport Network that ‘unlike the Terminal 5 inquiry the new planning process doesn’t wait on judicial reviews’. He added: ‘The Government has been very careful about following due process.’
Councils opposed to Heathrow expansion, which received parliamentary backing this week, include the London boroughs of Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth, and Hammersmith and Fulham. Other opponents include Windsor and Maidenhead council, Greenpeace and London mayor Sadiq Khan.
The councils have argued that an expanded Heathrow could not satisfy air quality requirements and have objected to the additional noise and costs associated.
Speaking to Transport Network, Mr Holland-Kaye dismissed fears that the airport’s owners would be unable to fund the cost of the runway and changes to the M25, saying it was backed by global investors. He said the airport was ‘a high quality investment for the global bond market’ and ‘we should be proud big investors want to invest'.
Leeds City Council leader and chair of Core Cities UK Cllr Judith Blake said the timing of the runway vote ‘couldn’t have been worse’ adding: ‘How can there be a decision to spend billions when there’s a disaster with the roll out of the Northern rail timetables?’
She said transport secretary Chris Grayling was due to speak at a Northern transport event in Manchester but had to attend the Commons vote on the third runway.
Cllr Blake, who is leading a review on behalf of Transport for the North into the timetable issue, added: ‘There’s a huge appetite for getting more devolved powers so we can resolve these issues ourselves.’