London Mayor stops London City Airport expansion plans
In February this year, the London Borough of Newham approved plans for the £200 million redevelopment of London City Airport. The scheme included additional aircraft infrastructure, passenger facilities and decking over the King George V Dock. Subsequently, the scheme was called-in for determination by London Mayor, Boris Johnson.
The GLA planning report had recommended that the London Borough of Newham should be allowed in this instance to "determine the application itself." However, under the Town and Country Planning (Mayor of London) Order 2008, the Mayor has powers to direct that planning applications of 'potential strategic importance' must be determined by him and that a local planning authority must refuse such applications for planning permission. On 26 March 2015, the Mayor issued a decision blocking the plans.
The decision said that the Mayor "believes that granting planning permission for this scheme would lead to an unacceptable increase in noise for East Londoners and would not be for the greater benefit of the city."
The reasons given for the Mayor directing the London Borough of Newham to refuse the application were on the basis that the scheme was contrary to London Plan policies on aviation and noise.
The Mayor's decision has proved controversial with Newham's directly elected Mayor, Sir Robin Wales. Sir Wales accused Johnson of "blatant electioneering" in press reports. The reports point to the Mayor's decision being "political" and suggest that it would cost the Borough up to 2,000 jobs, £750 million every year for the UK economy and the loss of environmental improvements. The decision has however been welcomed by others.