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15 December 2004
Airports 'will kill heritage'

British High Court heard that ancient monuments, woodlands and hundreds of homes will be lost if expansion at three airports goes ahead. The claim was made as local councils launched a challenge against Government plans for Londonís Heathrow, Stansted and Luton airports. They want the judge to declare proposals in a Government White Paper unlawful.
     Tom Hill, for councils around Stansted and Luton, told the court the processes leading up to the White Paper were "inadequate and unlawful". He warned much-loved landscapes would be "swept away" if the proposals went ahead. Woodlands and hedgerows, homes and ancient landmarks would be obliterated and thousands more homes affected by noise. Mr Hill said: "The expansion bandwagon has already started to roll, and unless the court intervenes it will be unstoppable."
     The proposals were unveiled in the Governmentís aviation White Paper in December 2003. If the challenge succeeds it will be the first time a White Paper has been overturned by a court. Stop Stansted Expansion chairman Peter Sanders said: "The Governmentís enthusiasm to sanction massive airport expansion resulted in its bungling and bulldozing its way through to the White Paper." He said they "ignored proper processes and did not even inform the public".

Source: The Sun Newspaper (14 December 2004)

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