The first stage of a legal challenge against Heathrow’s expansion with a third runway is due to take place today.

The initial legal test is expected as opponents to expanding the London hub seek to proceed their cases to full judicial review.

Five parties have lodged judicial review claims against the plans, including a consortium of local councils authorities, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, London mayor Sadiq Khan and Heathrow Hub which is promoting of a rival runway extension scheme.

The claims are against the government’s National Policy Statement – which only included Heathrow expansion – which Parliament voted on in June.

The issues raised, mainly relating to the environmental impact and the ignoring or withholding of evidence in the decision-making process, are expected to be heard in March 2019.

Campaigners, residents and politicians, including Labour shadow chancellor and local Heathrow MP John McDonnell, plan ‘solidarity event’ outside the High Court this morning.

The No 3rd Runway Coalition, whose membership includes the local councils, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, welcomed the process as the chance to highlight the “severe negative impacts” the project would have.

Chair Paul McGuinness said: “The legal actions against the government’s decision to expand Heathrow is supported by a very large number of communities, who firmly believe that the negative environmental impact of this highly disruptive airport should not be allowed to grow.

“Having ignored evidence, such as the report of parliament’s transport select committee, the decision to expand Heathrow was always going to end up in the courts, under judicial review, and we are delighted that the process has now started and welcome this decisive action by a number of parties.”