Transport Minister Jesse Norman MP has revealed that costs of £625,000 from legal challenges to Heathrow expansion will be recovered from the unsuccessful claimants.
That will include substantial costs against the London Boroughs of Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Richmond and the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead. The Mayor of London will also be liable for a portion of the costs.
The cost to the councils is in addition to over £2 million of expenditure in legal fees, PR costs and funding of local ‘anti- Heathrow’ groups over the last decade.
In response to a question asked by Justine Greening MP to the Secretary of State of Transport: “What estimate he has been made of the (a) legal (b) other costs to the public purse of the judicial review of the Airports National Policy Statement.”
The Minister stated: “The external costs to date to the Department of defending the judicial review claims are £1,608,642 for legal costs and £95,152 for other costs. Following the judgments in favour of the Secretary of State, the Department will seek to recover up to £625,000 in costs from the unsuccessful claimants.”
Executive Director of Back Heathrow, Parmjit Dhanda said: “This is embarrassing for local council leaders, who have played fast and loose with tax-payers’ money, and lost it all. They could instead have been negotiating how their boroughs would benefit from new jobs and apprenticeships.
“They should now get around the table and engage in the consultation process to help develop a regeneration project for local communities to be proud of, whilst also tackling noise and reducing our carbon footprint.”