Fresh legal action taken against Heathrow Airport expansion

Climate change charity Plan B has initiated legal action against Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, in a challenge to the proposed Heathrow expansion.

This is the latest in a string of legal actions taken against Heathrow expansion. Photo: HACAN

This is the latest in a string of legal actions taken against Heathrow expansion. Photo: HACAN

It is claimed that current plans breach legal obligations in the Planning Act to alleviate the impact of climate change.

Plan B has said that the National Policy Statement by Chris Grayling in June fails to consider the UK’s climate obligations under the Paris Agreement. The group considers it to be an “obvious and serious breach of the [Planning] Act, which renders the plans to expand Heathrow Airport unlawful.

“Indeed Lord Deben, the Chair of the Government’s advisory body on climate change, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), wrote to Chris Grayling in June to express his surprise at the Government’s failure to consider its climate change obligations in this context,” Plan B’s director Tim Crosland said.

“That’s why we’ve today (6 August 2018) submitted a claim for judicial review to the High Court.’

In a response to edie, the Department for Transport (DfT) claimed it would be inappropriate to comment on individual legal claims or potential claims. However, it did say that it had followed a "wide-ranging and robust process" in line with advice from the Airports Commission. 

A DfT spokesperson said: “As the Secretary of State has made clear, we are confident in the decision-making process which led to designation of the Airports National Policy Statement, and stand ready to defend it robustly against legal challenge.”

This is the latest headache facing the Transport Secretary over Heathrow, after a group of councils recently confirmed they were planning legal action against expansion. A host of politicians and green groups, including Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, and Greenpeace, have backed such a move.

George Ogleby


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