Page last updated at 14:29 GMT, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 15:29 UK

Council sued on City flights rise

Climate campaigners at London City Airport
Campaigners say more flights would 'bump up' emissions

An east London council has been taken to court for allegedly failing to consult residents before allowing a 50% increase in flights from City Airport.

Fight the Flights said it was suing Newham Council for approving the expansion in October without consulting residents and other affected boroughs.

Group spokeswoman Anne-Marie Griffin said the decision will "bump up carbon emissions and add to the misery".

The council said it had undertaken an "extensive" consultation process.

Fight the Flights said the council's decision to increase the airport's capacity from about 80,000 to 120,000 flights a year also failed to consider the government's policy to reduce aviation emissions to below 2005 levels by 2050.

The community-based campaign group is represented by lawyers from Friends of the Earth in its legal bid.

'Ludicrous' decision

Ms Griffin said: "Increasing flights at London City Airport is completely wrong - it will bump up carbon emissions and add to the misery of local people who are already suffering from poor air quality and noise disturbance.

"There are much better ways to bring jobs to this area."

Phil Michaels, from Friends of the Earth, called the council's decision "ludicrous".

"This legal challenge aims to give both the planet and local people a voice in this sort of decision," he said.

We are confident that this decision is in the best interest of the communities in Newham
Newham Council spokesman

"Councils have a vital role to play in delivering the emissions cuts science tells us are needed - instead of supporting airport expansion Mayor Boris Johnson should be helping London boroughs boost their local economies in ways that will benefit both people and the environment."

A spokesman for Newham Council said the plan was approved subject to "stringent" conditions and that aircraft movements would be capped at 120,000 per year.

He said: "Following an extensive consultation process, which included a significant amount of input from members of the public, we are confident that this decision is in the best interest of the communities in Newham."

The spokesman added: "This decision will pump an additional £26m into the local economy, create hundreds of new jobs for residents, boost tourism in the area and create the potential for further investment in local infrastructure."

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