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Thursday, 27 February 2020

Heathrow expansion plan in “tatters” after court rules decision as “legally fatal”




That's the verdict from Richmond Council today after campaigners trying to block the expansion of Heathrow airport won their legal challenge.

Last year, Richmond joined forces with four councils, the Mayor of London and Greenpeace, to legally challenge the Government’s decision to favour a proposal for a new north-west runway at Heathrow.

The partnership was joined by others who supported the challenge with their own claims for Judicial Review.

Together, they argued that the Government’s decision to adopt its Airports National Policy Statement (ANPS) was unlawful on several key grounds including climate change, noise and air quality.

In May 2019 the Divisional Court refused all the applications for judicial review.

However, the Council and its co-claimants applied to the Court of Appeal to overturn this judgment, which was heard in October last year.

Today, the Judges handed-down their judgment.

In their ruling they state that the Government failed to take into account its own climate change obligations under the Paris Agreement which is “legally fatal to the ANPS”.

Richmond says the Court has sent a clear message to the Government that it needs to rethink its airports strategy and this is a momentous victory for Richmond’s residents and over a million Londoners.

Reacting to the judgment of the Court of Appeal’s ruling on Heathrow expansion, Paul McGuinness, Chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, said:

“Clearly the courts have found an irredeemably large hole in the Government’s airports national policy statement which will now have to be withdrawn.

“But this only scratches the surface – the errors of assessment behind the policy are perforated with mistakes on noise, air quality and several other major issues.

“And with both the Committee on Climate Change and economists suggesting that Heathrow expansion would have been an assault on the regions, the project is no longer politically acceptable either.”

A Heathrow spokesperson says:

“The Court of Appeal dismissed all appeals against the government - including on “noise” and “air quality” - apart from one which is eminently fixable. We will appeal to the Supreme Court on this one issue and are confident that we will be successful. In the meantime, we are ready to work with the Government to fix the issue that the court has raised. Heathrow has taken a lead in getting the UK aviation sector to commit to a plan to get to Net Zero emissions by 2050, in line with the Paris Accord. Expanding Heathrow, Britain’s biggest port and only hub, is essential to achieving the Prime Minister’s vision of Global Britain. We will get it done the right way, without jeopardising the planet’s future. Let’s get Heathrow done.”
posted by Radio Jackie News Team @ 10:20 am  

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