Backers of an independent alternative to a new third runway at Heathrow today demanded changes to airport expansion legislation.

Heathrow Hub is calling on transport secretary Chris Grayling to amend rules to allow its extended northern runway scheme to be considered as well as Heathrow’s new third runway proposal.

The extended runway option is claimed to be cheaper at £3.9 billion than the airport’s £14 billion third runway plan and would be operational in 2026, four years ahead of the Heathrow scheme.

Lawyers at City firm DAC Beachcroft, advising Heathrow Hub, have drafted suggested amendments to the National Policy Statement (NPS), due to be considered by Parliament this summer.

Heathrow Hub director Jock Lowe said: “Even at this stage, it would actually save time and money to adopt our scheme instead.

“Mr Grayling is on record as saying the main reason our scheme has not been chosen thus far is that Heathrow airport refused to say it would implement it.

“It is outrageous that Heathrow airport should have abused its position by vetoing our scheme, which was deemed viable and deliverable by the Airports Commission.

“Among the extended runway’s advantages are that it won’t cause years of delays on the M25; it can be built quicker and in phases; it is quieter; and it destroys fewer houses.

“Given our ongoing dialogue with all political parties, we are also confident it would win widespread support in Parliament.”

He claimed that the Department for Transport had run a “flawed process” and appealed to Grayling to “see sense and to accept our amendments, so this important piece of national infrastructure can at last be delivered quickly and cheaply”.