Councils disappointed by the court decision on Heathrow

Councils disappointed by the court decision on Heathrow


Councils are disappointed in the High Court’s failure to quash the Government’s Airport National Policy Statement (ANPS), regarding Heathrow expansion. Councils argue this could bring long-term damage to the health of millions of Londoners.

They warn that large areas of London and the Home Counties will be affected by noise from the north-west runway.  For many London boroughs it means a substantial increase in the number of communities affected.

The local authorities had argued that the third runway could only be built by demolishing thousands of homes, adding large increases in road traffic and making life noisier and unhealthier for millions of Londoners.

The court has refused all the applications for judicial review of the ANPS essentially because it has decided that at this policy stage the decision to support a third runway at Heathrow needs only meet a low level of judicial scrutiny.

There will be another stage where the damage caused to life and health and the environment by a third runway and its associated traffic (damage causing air pollution, noise pollution and contributing to climate change) will be more closely scrutinised.  Objections to runway three must be heard then and any decision to approve it will be open to challenge through the courts.

“Today’s ruling is hugely disappointing for Londoners,” Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, said. “It shows that the Government can drive through expansion plans without properly considering the full environmental and health impacts. But it does not mean the runway will ever be built. It still faces enormous legal obstacles particularly around air pollution.”

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