ONLY days before it was due to go to court, Farnborough resident Keith Parkins withdrew his legal challenge to Rushmoor's approval of TAG's plans for Farnborough airfield.

The council welcomed the news on Tuesday and said it confirmed that its decisions had been properly made.

Spokesman Daryl Phillips said that Rushmoor had spent only around £1500 to £2000 plus an unquantifiable amount of officers' time in combating Mr Parkins' case."The costs would have escalated massively had it gone ahead last Monday," he added. Because Mr Parkins was on legal aid, the council could not recover its costs.

The application for a judicial review was launched in October after Rushmoor approved TAG plans to reconfigure the runway with planes flying in and out of Farnborough at a higher altitude. Sir Richard Tucker, a senior High Court judge, found that the council had considered all relevant matters when making its decisions. Despite this Mr Parkins sought to pursue his application until his withdrawal.

Coun. Roland Dibbs, Rushmoor's Cabinet Member for the Environment, commented: "This should give all residents confidence in the council's planning procedures, particularly when we are dealing with measures affecting safety and quality of life."