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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 December, 2003, 13:54 GMT
No challenge to runway plan
Birmingham International Airport
Birmingham already handles about 800,000 passengers a month

Council chiefs have called off plans to challenge a government decision to back proposals for a second runway at Birmingham International Airport.

Solihull Council's cabinet announced it would not seek a judicial review of the proposal on Monday, despite fervent opposition from residents within the borough who claim their lives will be blighted by the expansion.

The government announced its intention to support the second runway plan in December to cope with predicted air travel growth in the Midlands.

The new runway will be "subject to stringent measures to limit noise and improve access", the Aviation White Paper stated.

'Minimise impact'

Despite the sustained opposition by residents the council said it would not fight the decision in court after meeting with its lawyers last week.

The council's legal team had warned that initial costs alone would be 50,000 and could increase significantly.

Councillor Ian Hillas, deputy council leader, said: "We believe it would be irresponsible to spend taxpayers' money on a legal challenge that is virtually certain to fail.

"We feel that we now need to work closely with Birmingham International Airport and their relevant parties to minimise the impact a second runway would have on the borough's residents.

"We will press them to deal fairly with residents and end the uncertainty felt by those who may be affected by blight."

No challenge to runway plan
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