Opponents vow to fight Heathrow expansion

The options left open to them may be unclear, but a huge coalition of environmental organisations with decades of campaigning experience have teamed up with locals to fight the Government's decision to give plans for a third runway at Heathrow airport the green light.

The coalition of organisations held an emergency press briefing yesterday following the announcement that the scheme would get the go ahead from Government.

The line-up of organisations represented read like a who's who of environmental NGOs, with top brass from Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the WWF, the RSPB and National Trust all on hand to speak of their disappointment - and of their hope that the scheme could still be blocked.

Meanwhile, across the city, Mayor of London Boris Johnson also pledged to support a legal challenge against the decision, saying the additional air traffic from a third runway would be a tragedy for Londoners and the climate.

Members of the coalition said they were talking to their legal teams about challenging the decision in the court, but would not be drawn on the detail.

But while detail was thin on the ground, but reading between the lines it seemed delaying tactics will be the order of the day.

All other political parties say they are opposed to the plans and opponents of the scheme could do well if Labour receives a bloody nose in the general election and is either ousted or weakened enough that it has to make concessions.

"It's quite clear that the plans could not be got through in time for the next election," said John Stewart, leader of HACAN Clearskies, the local campaign against expansion.

"There's a lot of anger about what happened today but there is a lot of hope as well."

Sam Bond




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