This week, the Newham Recorder has briefly reported that a judicial review of the council's decision is due to take place at the Royal Court of Justice in November, with a decision by January 2011. Local group Fight the Flights, which has raised the funds for the legal challenge, accuses the council of failing to consider changing government policy on climate change or to consult both neighbouring boroughs and residents on the possible impact of increased aircraft movements. Councils in Havering, Redbridge, Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets, Bexley and Barking & Dagenham are supporting a High Court challenge.
The legal action makes a mockery of London Mayor Boris Johnson's recently announced Green Enterprise District in east London and his pledge to make London a "global leader in the low carbon economy". Low carbon? How can having an rapidly expanding airport literally next door to the proposed Siemens Pavilion, "a permanent showcase for sustainable technologies" at the heart of the district, represent a commitment to carbon reduction - and how will the 100,000 visitors the pavilion is expected to receive every year or the school groups dropping in on educational trips be able to hear a damn thing above the roar of jet engines?