Residents cite climate impact in airport flight growth battle

Residents have protested at the High Court over plans for more flights at nearby London City Airport, which they fear will increase noise and air pollution.

Appearing for the residents, Nathalie Lieven QC accused the London Borough of Newham of erring in law by failing to consider the effect of the increase on the government's climate change policy. It had also failed to consult neighbouring boroughs before varying permission to allow the expansion, she said.

The section 106 agreements for the expansion were agreed last July (Planning, 17 July 2009, p6). Lieven told Lord Justice Pill and Mr Justice Roderick Evans that the effect of the consent was to allow an increase of flights of up to 100 per cent on any particular day and about 60 per cent annually.

The number of flights from the airport is expected to rise from between 70,000 and 80,000 to 120,000 a year. London City Airport released an economic impact assessment that it said shows the benefits of the growth. It claimed that the airport contributes more than £500 million a year to the economy.

The Fight The Flights campaign is being backed in the court proceedings by Friends of the Earth's rights and justice centre.

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