Terminal 5 objectors boosted by review

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The Independent Online

Ministers are expecting campaigners against the Terminal 5 development at Heathrow to try to block the project by a judicial review over the global slump in air traffic.

Ministers are expecting campaigners against the Terminal 5 development at Heathrow to try to block the project by a judicial review over the global slump in air traffic.

The Government's law officers have advised ministers that the campaigners will fail, on the grounds that the project is intended to cope with air traffic over the next two decades. But opponents of the expansion of Heathrow say the fall in air traffic following the attack on the World Trade Centre should be taken into account before Terminal 5 is given the green light.

Stephen Byers, the Transport Secretary, who is preparing to announce the go-ahead, is dismayed at renewed claims that he has timed the announcement to coincide with the conflict in Afghanistan.

BAA is expected to be given the go-ahead to build Heathrow'sfifth terminal in the next few days. The project was first proposed in the 1980s and has been the subject of the UK's longest public inquiry. If the proposal is granted permission and a legal challenge fails then it will open in 2007.

Prior to the terrorist attacks, BA was due to occupy most of the space created by the new terminal. It is now reviewing its requirements.

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