ISSUE: Night Flights                       


Residents face fresh night flights challenge


Following the decision by the European Court of Human Rights granting permission to the UK Government for an appeal against last October's ruling that night flights violated human rights Wandsworth Council has confirmed that it will continue to work with an all-party group comprising environmentalists and local authorities in south and west London to defend the hard-won victory.

Campaigners fear that if the current judgment is overturned this would remove any protection for local residents from night flights even before Heathrow's new fifth terminal is built.

The inquiry inspector acknowledged in his final report that the extra terminal would mean more noise from early morning arrivals. The long term objective, he said, should be to remove the need for night flights.

The ECHR found in October that by putting economic arguments ahead of environmental and quality of life concerns the UK Government had violated the European Convention on Human Rights. The court also found that the Government had not properly investigated the effects of night flights on sleep prevention, nor whether they were essential in the economic interests of the country.

The night flights test case had been brought to Strasbourg by eight west London residents. They were backed by Wandsworth which helped to raise more than £50,000 towards their legal costs from other councils in London and the south east.

All-party support was received from Wandsworth, Richmond, Windsor, Tandridge, Runnymede, Spelthorne, Hounslow, Hillingdon, Reigate and Banstead, Lambeth, Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, Ealing, Kingston, Southwark, Surrey and the Mayor of London

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