THE fight back against the Heathrow expansion plan started in earnest today as proceedings in the High Court were launched by five councils including the Royal Borough against the Secretary of State for the Environment.

The Royal Borough and its fellow councils Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Richmond, plus Hammersmith and Fulham have been joined by Greenpeace and the Mayor of London in issuing the challenge.

The grounds of the challenge are air quality, inadequate environmental assessment, climate change, surface access, breach of the habitats directive and a flawed consultation process.

Cllr Simon Dudley, leader of the Royal Borough, said: “We promised we would hold government to account and that is exactly what we are doing. The process surrounding their support for a third runway at Heathrow has been flawed and failed to take into account the environmental impact this project would have on our residents and the tens of thousands of others who live in the airport’s shadow. This judicial review seeks to shine a light on the flaws we’ve been highlighting and halt this damaging expansion project.”

Councillor Ray Puddifoot, Leader of Hillingdon Council, said: "Once again we have a government that is trying to avoid applying both the correct legal process and common sense to the question of airport expansion.

"The abject failure to address the far reaching consequences for both the environment and the health and wellbeing of tens of thousands of residents across London is simply not acceptable."