More delays: Airports Commission to face courtroom stand-off with angry Teddington residents over pollution review

 
Emma Haslett
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A decision over a new runway has already been delayed (Source: Getty)

The decision over where to build a new runway is about to be put off for even longer, after a group of residents in Teddington (in Heathrow's flight path) applied for a Judicial Review of the work of the Airports Commission.

Read more: Businesses slam delay over airports action

The Commission, led by Sir Howard Davies, is tasked with deciding between three options to increase the capacity of airports in the South East - either build a new runway at Gatwick, build a new runway at Heathrow, or extend one of the current ones at Heathrow.

A decision has been a long time coming - and was further delayed in May by an investigation into the air quality in the areas surrounding the airports.

But today members of the Teddington Action Group said they intended to apply for a Judicial Review to assess whether they had been given enough time to respond to the "highly technical 200 page report" into air quality and emissions.

"Although it contained almost 200 pages of technical data, residents were given only three weeks to respond," the group said today.

"This is far shorter than the Cabinet Office guidelines which recommend three months for controversial or technical consultations."

That's not all, though - the residents' pre-claim letter will also address the role of Davies himself, suggesting that his recently acquired chairmanship of RBS could be a "potential conflic of interest".

"RBS is the banker for companies which own Gatwick and Heathrow airports," it adds.

The project has already been beset with delays, not least the General Election, which put a decision back by at least a month. However, last week it emerged that the government may put off any action on the Commission's final report until the end of this year - perhaps even the beginning of next.

Business groups have insisted that the government must get to work as soon as possible.

"Each delay pushes further into the next parliament, the point at which the first shovel can go into the ground," said Institute of Directors senior infrastructure adviser Dan Lewis last week.

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