Campaigners against a Heathrow third runway go to the High Court today (Thursday) in a renewed bid to stop the £14 billion project.
Local councils, residents, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the mayor of London are attempting for a second time to secure a judicial review of the government’s go-ahead for expansion of the airport.
Four previous cases were dismissed earlier this year, with the High Court ruling that the government had not breached its sustainable development duties by approving the plan to build a third runway.
The judges will also hear a fifth case brought the backers of a Heathrow Hub, rival scheme to expand the airport, which was also rejected in May by the High Court.
The claimants were given the go-ahead to challenge that ruling in July, with the hearing expected to last six days.
Heathrow Hub’s grounds of appeal are different to the appeals by other parties and relates to the “flawed competition” run by the Department for Transport.
Jock Lowe, director of Heathrow Hub – which is backing an extension to the existing northern runway – claimed that the government “bungled” the decision-making process for expansion at the London hub and his was the “common-sense option”.
He said: “We continue to argue the case for our extended runway proposal, which is cheaper, simpler, greener and quieter than the ludicrously complicated third runway.
“Furthermore, our scheme can be phased, only releasing new capacity once noise and emissions targets have been met, with the approval of the government and the regulator.”
A Heathrow spokesman said that “judicial reviews are common in infrastructure projects of this size”.
He told the Financial Times: “Our plans remain on track and we will support the Department for Transport throughout this process.
“We remain totally confident in the robust process that has got us to this point, including the extensive evidence gathered by the independent Airports Commission, multiple rounds of public consultation and the overwhelming cross-party support of parliament.”
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