Campaigners leave the High Court victorious this morning after the result of a judicial review into the planned third runway at Heathrow declared that the plans were 'untenable'.
UPDATED 20 April 2010: Fantastic news! Both the climate and common sense have scored a major victory at the High Court today, where the Government's plans for a 3rd runway at Heathrow have been dealt a huge blow.
In response to a legal challenge against the runway mounted by a coalition of organisations that include Greenpeace, Lord Justice Carnwath ruled that the Government's decision to give a green light to the proposed third runway does not hold any weight. He said that their claims to the contrary as ‘untenable in law and common sense'.
The judge delivered a slap across the wrist to the Government, saying that the decision hadn't properly taken into consideration the Government's own climate change policy or the economic case and surface transport. Effectively this means that for the runway to go ahead, the Government will have to re-consult on these major issues as part of an overhaul of its wider aviation policy.
While the Government has been sent back to drawing board, it is very hard to see how it can resuscitate any enthusiasm for the new runway. However, we will be keeping a very close eye on the situation, and we won't rest until the any new government has scrapped the plans categorically and permanently.
This morning in the Royal Courts of Justice, Lord Justice Carnwath ordered the Department for Transport to pay their own costs plus 60% of the costs incurred by the claimants in the Heathrow Judicial Review, a coalition of environmental groups, local residents and West London councils, who, he said, had “substantially won”.
This means that the government cannot use their 2003 white paper or the 2009 decision (which was determined in court not to actually be a decision after all) as part of their new national policy statement, which will have to take greater consideration of climate change, the carbon cost of expansion, and surface access. Essentially, whilst we’ve all known for a while that the government’s aviation policy was no more, today was the day Adonis signed its death certificate.
Lord Adonis did not claim that the government’s aviation policy was merely sleeping, nor did he say, like Monty Python's Dead Parrot, that it merely was pining for the fjords. However, he must be stunned by today's ruling.
We're many steps closer to winning, but we need your help to keep up the pressure until we get an outright win. Over 81,000 people have already become beneficial owners of Airplot - the piece of land in the heart of the land claimed by the Government for Heathrow's expansion. You too can become an owner, along with your family and friends. Join the Plot now!, before the deeds are finalised on May 1st.