London High Court hears legal bid against MoD plans for Olympic Missiles

13:36 09 July 2012

Soldiers used dummy missiles to test logistics of putting missiles on roof. Photo curtesy of Brian Whelan.

Soldiers used dummy missiles to test logistics of putting missiles on roof. Photo curtesy of Brian Whelan.

Brian Whelan

Plans to station surface-to-air missiles on the roof of a tower block during the Olympics could expose residents to a terrorist attack, the High Court was told today.

Plans to station surface-to-air missiles on the roof of a tower block during the London Olympics could expose residents to a terrorist attack, the High Court was told today.

Residents of the Fred Wigg Tower in Leytonstone are fighting to prevent the ground-based air defence system being deployed above their heads.

They are applying to the London High Court for permission to seek a judicial review on the grounds their human rights have been breached because they were not consulted fairly and properly over the Ministry of Defence proposals.

Marc Willers, representing the residents, told a judge: “It is the unprecedented siting of a military base or missile site in peace time on English soil that brings us to this court.”

Mr Willers said the Ministry of Defence was suggesting that residents’ fear was unjustified when one looked at it from an objective point of view.

He said: “Residents have a fully justified fear that installation or deployment of the missile system on the roof of the Fred Wigg Tower gives rise to the additional risk that the tower itself may become the focus of a terrorist attack.”

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond is accused of breaching Article eight and Article One of Protocol One of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protect an individual’s right to private life and peaceful enjoyment of their home.

Campaigners against similar MoD plans to put missiles on top of Bow Quarter in Fairfield Road are awaiting the outcome of the hearing to see if they can also launch a legal challenge.

The hearing continues.

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