Thamesmead campaigners sue over City Airport

London City Airport sees the launch of a direct executive service to New York on Tuesday, which will no doubt delight many of its neighbours in some of London’s poorest districts, both north and south of the Thames. Don’t believe me? You ask the Telegraph’s Lucy Fitzgeorge-Parker, who penned this admiring piece on the Silvertown airport’s expansion plans:

The fact that there are no vocal lobby groups campaigning against the expansion of London City is partly thanks to a policy of recruiting in the area. More than 70pc of the airport’s 2,000 staff live less than five miles away, and the site is the biggest private sector employer in the borough of Newham. (more)

I wonder what Lucy Fitzgeorge-Parker will make of this, then?

Handy for the airportNewham council is being taken to court today [28 September 2009] by local residents over its decision to allow a 50 per cent increase in flights at London City Airport without considering changes to Government policy on climate change or consulting local people.

Fight The Flights, a community group represented by lawyers at Friends of the Earth‘s Rights & Justice Centre, says that before approving the airport’s expansion in July this year, the council should have considered the Government’s intention to reduce aviation emissions to below 2005 levels by 2050 – part of its effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions under the Climate Change Act.

Fight The Flights said Newham council had also failed to consult neighbouring boroughs such as Waltham Forest, even though they will be significantly affected as a result of changes to flight paths since July.

Fight The Flights’ Anne-Marie Griffin said: “Increasing flights at London City Airport is completely wrong – it will bump up carbon emissions and add to the misery of local people who are already suffering from poor air quality and noise disturbance. There are much better ways to bring jobs to this area.

“We appeal to members of the public who care about the environment and about our community to help us fight this decision by donating to help fund our legal challenge.” (more)

No vocal lobby groups? Really? Fight the Flights, based in Thamesmead, is probably the most vocal lobby group I’ve ever come across, with a Twitter feed constantly pumping out arguments against expanding the airport, whose flightpath runs right across the blighted developments of west Thamesmead.

Newham Council will be in for a very hard fight – and this won’t be good news for City Airport fan Boris Johnson, either. This story will be one to watch. Especially if you work for the Telegraph…


  1. Excellent article. The Telegraph piece was the most unresearched thing I have seen in quite some time. its frightening sometimes to see what journalists can , or think they can , get away with. You thing they would earn from bloggers – research is the key to a good story.

  2. As I found yesterday the trouble with research is that you need your reference material to hand. Sadly all the vast amount of paperwork I once had about what we then called ‘Stolport’ went in the bin years ago. I just have one Proof of Evidence written for the original Enquiry by someone I don’t even know. ‘Stolport’? It stood for ‘Short take off light aircraft’, ie – no jets. Someone somewhere must have kept all that original campaign material, and the promises made too.

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