Embargo: For immediate release, Thursday, 20 January 2011
Contact: Neil Verlander, Friends of the Earth press office, 0207 566 1649
Anne-Marie Griffin, Chair of Fight the Flights: Tel: 07984 300558
Residents, represented by Friends of the Earth’s Rights and Justice Centre, took the council to court in November last year after it decided to allow a 50 per cent increase in flights. The community representatives argued that Newham Council failed to consider changes to Government policy on climate change and did not properly consult boroughs and residents in the surrounding area.
Reacting to the decision, Chair of local campaign group Fight the Flights Anne-Marie Griffin said:
“We are desperately disappointed by this judgement.
“London City Airport already causes major disturbance and pollution for people living locally – the disappointment we feel at this outcome will be shared by thousands of residents across East London who are severely affected by London City Airport’s operations but were not consulted about expansion.
“Without clear guidelines to local councils on aviation expansion, the emissions targets set have no hope of being met.
“Fight the Flights is currently taking legal advice as to whether to appeal.”
Friends of the Earth’s London Campaigner Jenny Bates said:
“Airport expansion will have a terrible impact on local people’s quality of life, as well as increase air pollution breaches and undermine efforts to tackle climate change.
“Many of the destinations served by London City Airport could easily be reached by fast rail travel.
“If this Government wants to keep its pledge to be the greenest ever it must develop a transport strategy which encourages people to use greener forms of transport over climate-wrecking flights.”
Notes to editors:
1. The High Court hearing took place on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 November 2010 at the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand in London.
2. Newham Council's decision to expand London City Airport by 50 per cent will increase flights from the airport from 73,000 to 120,000 a year. The decision was made in October 2008, after which Friends of the Earth's Rights and Justice Centre submitted a number of letters on behalf of Fight The Flights to Newham council in protest, raising the issues of climate change, air quality and race equality.
3. On 15 January 2009 the Government announced its intention to reduce aviation emissions to below 2005 levels by 2050. Newham Council issued a formal grant of planning permission at a meeting on 8 July 2009 without taking into account the Government's target in their decision-making.
4. Fight the Flights: http://www.fighttheflights.com/
5. Friends of the Earth's Rights and Justice Centre provides access to legal advice and representation to people wishing to use the law to protect their communities and the environment. The Centre operates a free legal advice line for members of the public on 0808 801 0405 (open between 6.30-8.30 pm on alternate Wednesdays).
6. Friends of the Earth believes the environment is for everyone. We want a healthy planet and a good quality of life for all those who live on it. We inspire people to act together for a thriving environment. More than 90 per cent of our income comes from individuals so we rely on donations to continue our vital work. For further information visit www.foe.co.uk.