Court ruling means more flights for City Airport
While well-heeled Greenwich town centre dwellers will be cursing the Greenwich Market ruling, riverside residents at the other end of the borough have also had bad news today – the challenge against Newham Council’s decision to back the expansion of London City Airport has failed.
The case had been brought by Thamesmead-based campaign group Fight The Flights, whose chairwoman Anne-Marie Griffin now has 14 days to decide whether or not she wants to mount a further appeal. FTF claimed Newham had not taken into account new government guidelines on aviation, and had not consulted neighbouring boroughs – in this case Waltham Forest and Redbridge – properly on the issue.
The airport hailed the ruling as “great news for London City Airport and Newham” – presumably everyone else can get stuffed, then.
If you live by the river and think this won’t affect you – think again. The number of flights using LCY could rise from 80,000 per year to 120,000. You can already hear the roars from take-offs and landings from Blackheath.
On this side of the Thames, Greenwich Council has said it wants much more residential development on the riverside in future (a topic I’ll return to on this blog soon) – so anyone by the Thames in Charlton or Woolwich will have to endure a pretty noisy life thanks to their neighbour across the water.
Greenwich itself has a pretty murky history with LCY – failing to attend meetings with airport management and then endorsing expansion, despite the roar of jets over West Thamesmead.
London Assembly Lib Dem Caroline Pidgeon says Greenwich Council has a few awkward questions to answer. “Many people in east and south east London are already facing serious problems with noise and disturbance from air flights. Today’s decision provides the green light to increased misery for many more Londoners. I remain convinced that greater scrutiny should have been given to the initial planning decision by Newham Council.
“Questions also remain as to why Greenwich Council never objected to the planning decision despite the serious impact that the airport is already having on so many of its residents. Most significantly this decision sends out the message that the economic benefits of aviation are still being exaggerated while its environmental harm is largely overlooked.”