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8 - Oct - 2018

High Court Approves Cases against Heathrow Expansion to proceed to full Judicial Review

Local authorities in London and campaign groups including PlanB and Friends of the Earth, who are against the building of a third runway, have cleared a major hurdle after the High Court  gave permission for five separate claims to proceed to a full judicial review. The cases will be heard in March 2019.

The group of campaigners and councils has said the National Policy Statement (NPS) shows that the government supported the project without considering the impact on air quality, climate change, noise and congestion.

In July, Mayor Sadiq khan said, “Heathrow expansion will result in hundreds of thousands of people being blighted by intolerable noise levels and worsening air quality in an area where pollution is already well above legal levels.

“The Government has failed to demonstrate how it will fund the billions of pounds needed to improve road and rail connections to the airport.”

MPs overwhelmingly voted for the expansion plans in a Commons’ vote last month.

Mr Grayling said the new runway would set a “clear path to our future as a global nation in the post-Brexit world”.

Paul McGuinness, Chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, said: “These legal challenges are of the Government’s own making. It is not insignificant that the judge has permitted all five claimants to proceed to judicial review.

“In addition to the claim from several councils and the London Mayor, the four other claims raise some serious points of law. If the government had not ignored available evidence in their blinkered enthusiasm to expand this already highly disruptive airport, parliament would not have supported the proposal, and these actions would not have been necessary.”

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “As with any major infrastructure project, we have been anticipating legal challenges and will robustly defend our position.

“Today's hearing does not impact on the work Heathrow is undertaking on its application for planning consent or the timetable to deliver this much-needed runway.”

Heathrow’s expansion is set to begin in 2021 and a third runway is projected to be operational by 2026.

By Airport Pickups London