Residents launch legal bid to ban Olympic missiles
A residents’ association is taking legal action over plans to base a missile defence system on a block of flats.
The Ministry of Defence is considering placing a missile defence system on Fred Wigg Tower in Leytonstone, east London, during the Olympic games. The tower is one of six sites identified for the missiles, although the MOD has not decided whether it will use all the sites.
Residents of the 117-home block, which is managed by Waltham Forest Council, have today issued proceedings with the High Court against the MOD’s plans.
Solicitors representing the residents are seeking an injunction to stop the MOD going ahead with the plan and have today filed a claim for judicial review.
They argue that residents were not consulted on the plans and that no assessment has been carried out under the Equality Act. They also claim the plans would breach the residents’ right to a family life and to peaceful enjoyment, contrary to the European Convention of Human Rights.
The residents’ solicitor Martin Howe, senior partner at Howe & Co, said: ‘’It is incredible that the MOD think it acceptable to present women, children and men living in a block of flats in a densely populated residential area of east London with the fait accompli of having a live high explosive missile salvo above their heads whilst they go about their daily chores and while they sleep at night.’
The MOD and Waltham Forest Council have until next Tuesday to file their defence papers with the court, with a hearing due on 13 July.
An MOD spokesperson said: ‘The safety of the London Games is paramount and, working alongside the police, the MoD has been involved in a range of community engagements in these areas where ground-based air defence may be sited. This has involved meeting local communities, briefings and meetings with local MPs.’
The other sites suggested include Lexington Building, a private block of apartments in Bow, Blackheath Common in south east London, William Girling reservoir in Enfield, Barn Hill in Epping Forest, Essex and Oxleas Meadow in Greenwich.