Boris’s change of heart over expansion

BORIS Johnson has had a change of heart over his support for expansion plans for London City Airport in the Royal Docks.

The London Mayor originally backed proposals for the airport to increase its flights to 120,000 every year but has now said he feels the decision by Newham Council to allow the extra movements needs to be reviewed.

The council’s decision in July 2009 is the subject of a Judicial Review following a campaign by climate lobbyists. The case is due to be heard at the High Court in central London.

During Mayor’s questions session last week Mr Johnson said he was “anxious” about the impact of extra flights into the capital. He said: “We need to review what is happening at City Airport and we are getting on with that.”

His U-turn was welcomed by Fight The Flight campaigners who are opposed to the expansion. The group is also behind the High Court challenge to the plans.

In January this year, Mr Johnson came under attack for not intervening in Newham Council’s decision to give the extra flights the go-ahead.

During an environment debate held at the Kenneth More Theatre, in Ilford, Mr Johnson pledged his support for a legal review of the decision.

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A judicial review hearing is expected at the High Court on November 18 and 19 although a decision is not expected until about six weeks later.