Council facing legal challenge to grant of planning permission for expansion of Southampton Airport

Objectors to the expansion of Southampton Airport have appointed law firm Leigh Day to challenge Eastleigh Borough Council’s grant of planning permission.

Airport Expansion Opposition Southampton (AXO) said it had set up a crowdfunder to secure the money to seek judicial review.

It said Eastleigh’s decision had been wrong both in procedure and the arguments accepted to justify expansion.

AXO said the council approved the runway extension last month, overruling a vote by its local area committee to reject it.

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Eastleigh said the airport had agreed to a series of mitigation measures in a section 106 agreement, including a cap of three million passengers per year, enhanced controls on noise and vehicles and the establishment of a community health fund.

Southampton Airport’s operations director Steve Szalay said: “We are extremely disappointed that the challenge from the opposition group may potentially add further delay to not only the project but also the creation of over 250 jobs as part of the construction phase.

“We are resolutely committed to these runway extension plans and the 2,500 jobs it will protect and enable.”

Earlier this month Uttlesford District Council announced that it is to bring a legal challenge after planning inspectors overturned its refusal of permission for the cap on passenger numbers at Stansted Airport to be increased to 43 million per year.

Mark Smulian

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