news

Heathrow expansion opposition group questions Conservative manifesto third runway pledge

Lawyers from HACAN (Heathrow   Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise) will look at the pledge to expand Heathrow, despite the public consultation still running

A campaign group is to consult its lawyers over the statement in the Conservative election manifesto that it intends to expand Heathrow .

HACAN (Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise), the residents’ group which opposes expansion, claims that the current consultation - which still has a week to run - was invalidated with the pledge on Thursday (May 18) that the Conservatives would proceed with a third runway.

The group’s chairman, John Stewart , believes the pledge to be “unlawful”, saying the consultation risked looking like a “worthless charade”.

John Stewart from Heathrow campaign group HACAN.

The manifesto reads: “We are investing to reduce travel time and cost, increase capacity and attract investment here in the UK.

“We will continue our programme of strategic national investments, including High Speed 2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and the expansion of Heathrow Airport - and we will ensure that these great projects do as much as possible to develop the skies and careers of British workers.”

This left Mr Stewart unhappy.

He said: “The manifesto announcement seems to have pre-empted the result of the consultation which doesn’t close until next Thursday.

“We believe this may be illegal and are consulting with lawyers.

"If the government has already made up its mind, the consultation has become a worthless charade.”

Prime Minister Theresa May announced in October that a third runway at Heathrow was the government’s preferred option for expansion.

A consultation on the third runway was released earlier this year in the form of a National Policy Statement.

This will be considered by the Transport Select Committee later this year before being put to a vote in Parliament.

It can only become government policy with the backing of Parliament, HACAN said.

The Conservative Party has been asked to comment.

Keep up to date with the latest news in west London via the free getwestlondon app.

You can even set it to receive push notifications for all the breaking news in your area.

Available to download from the App Store or Google Play for Android now!

View full mobile page