Heathrow Hub files request for judicial review at High Court over Government “blunder”

Heathrow Hub has launched its bid to overturn the Government’s backing for a Third Runway at Heathrow.  It joins five councils and London mayor Sadiq Khan and Greenpeace in initiating legal action against the decision.

Heathrow Hub's proposal would extend the current northern runway through the Poyle Trading Estate.

Heathrow Hub’s proposal would extend the current northern runway through the Poyle Trading Estate.

Lawyers acting for Heathrow Hub, which seeks to extend the existing Northern Runway through Poyle, filed papers at the High Court in London on Friday, seeking permission to for a judicial review of the Government’s National Policy Statement – which includes its backing for third Heathrow runway.

Heathrow Hub says that the Department for Transport’s process in considering the options for a new runway in the South East has been “flawed”, including the expensive Airports Commission in 2013.  As a result, Mr Grayling “has selected the most expensive, complex, disruptive expansion plan”.

Heathrow’s 3rd Runway – another blunder by the Department for Transport

On its website Heathrow Hub described the decision as a “another blunder” by the Department of Transport, while noting that Secretary of State Chris Grayling “deserves credit” for pressing ahead with Heathrow expansion.

In the request for Judicial Review, under Section 13 the Planning Act 2008, the Secretary of State is the Defendant and Heathrow Airport Ltd is also added as an Interested Party.

Five London councils launched their own bid to reverse the decision last month, notifying the Department for Transport, shortly after the vote of MPs, that they will be launching a their own judicial review.  Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Richmond, Hammersmith & Fulham and Windsor & Maidenhead are challenging the decision on the grounds of air quality, climate change, noise pollution and transport access.  Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, and environmental campaigning group Greenpeace have joined forces with the councils.

Heathrow Hub Ltd and its sister company Runway Innovations Ltd are seeking permission for judicial review on five grounds:

  • The Secretary of State acted unlawfully in making it “an effective precondition” that Heathrow Airport would guarantee that it would implement the scheme.
  • Heathrow Airport’s failure to give such a guarantee was insufficient grounds for the Secretary of State rejecting the Hub proposal.
  • The Secretary of State had relied on a “factually incorrect assumption” that Heathrow’s own scheme provided greater capacity for air traffic movements and more respite.
  • The Secretary of State failed to provide any or any adequate and/or intelligible reasons for including the assumption the National Policy Statement.
  • Safety and deliverability concerns used to reject the Hub proposal were not properly explained, and Heathrow Hub was not given a reasonable opportunity to respond.

Heathrow Hub’s legal advisers are DAC Beachcroft LLP, Martin Kingston QC and Satnam Choongh of No 5 Chambers as well as Robert O’Donoghue QC and Emma Mockford of Brick Court Chambers.

 

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