An independent project to expand capacity at Heathrow has reportedly launched a legal challenge against the £14 billion plan to build a third runway.

The plan was approved by MPs in June but has faced backlash from Heathrow Hub, which submitted an alternative proposal to expand one of the airport’s existing runways that it claims will be cheaper to build and will have less impact on local communities (pictured).

A letter seen by Sky News, allegedly from law firm DAC Beachcroft on behalf of Heathrow Hub, reportedly accuses the Department for Transport (DfT) of failing to provide details of the government’s decision-making process under freedom of information laws.

The letter listed five grounds on which the DfT’s National Policy Statement on Heathrow should be thrown out, including a misunderstanding on ministers’ part of the capacity increase created by extending one of the airport’s runways.

Heathrow Hub has said previously that it should be considered unlawful that the DfT effectively ‘gave Heathrow the right to veto’ its own proposal, with director Jock Lowe saying transport secretary Chris Grayling is on record as saying its scheme was not chosen because Heathrow airport would not say whether it would implement the plan if it was chosen over its own.

The letter is a precursor to legal action that could result in a full judicial review of Heathrow’s expansion plans, adding to a separate process set out by a collection of five London councils, mayor Sadiq Khan and environmental charity Greenpeace.

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