Heathrow 3rd runway ‘kiboshed’ by High Court ruling – Lord Lawson’s opinions

31.3.2010   (Evening Standard)

by Nicholas Cecil, Chief Political Correspondent

Plans for a third runway at Heathrow have been "kiboshed" by a High Court ruling, the Lords was told today.

Former Chancellor Lord Lawson of Blaby urged the Government to suspend its Climate Change Act to
allow it to go ahead with expansion at the west
London airport following the judgement.

Campaigners against the expansion plan claimed a legal victory after Lord Justice
Carnwath said the Government’s policy support for a third runway should be looked
at again, particularly in respect of climate change and local transport issues.

Lord Lawson said at question time today: "The third runway at Heathrow has been kiboshed by the courts as the direct
and predictable result of the Government’s absurd Climate Change Act, which was
passed with enthusiasm and complete thoughtlessness and acclaimed by all parties
in this House and the Commons."

He asked Transport Secretary Lord Adonis: "Is not the only possible solution
– if you think that a third runway is important and I agree with you – to put
the Act in suspense not least because even the Government has admitted that it
makes no sense without international agreement, which
Copenhagen shows is not obtainable?"

Tory transport spokeswoman Baroness Hanham asked Lord Adonis how the court judgment
would affect the Government’s policy and, if re-elected, what plans they had to
reopen consultation on the third runway.

Lord Adonis told the peer: "We will consult on the National Policy Statement
– we are required under the Planning Act 2008 to have such a consultation."

But he added that Lord Carnwath had said the 2008 act provided a "complete legal
framework for consideration of all the issues on which the claimants rely".

The Department for Transport has insisted that court judgment upholds the Government’s
policy and does not require the consultation to be carried out again.

Lord Adonis added: "When the Government took the decision last year to allow
the third runway application to proceed, it also asked the Committee on Climate
Change’s advice on how to ensure the target of carbon emissions in 2050 were below
the level in 2005."

He said that the committee’s chairman, Lord Turner of Ecchinswell, had found there was "potential" for the Government’s target to be met even
if there was an increase in demand for flying of 60%.

"There is no incompatibility whatsoever in meeting our climate change and carbon
reduction targets and allowing the expansion of Heathrow to take place, which
is manifestly in the public and wider public interest," Lord Adonis added.

link to article

 

 

 

There is now a body called the Global Warming Policy Foundation – chaired by Lord Lawson.

http://www.thegwpf.org/

Its website states:
 
“The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) is an all-party and non-party think tank and a registered educational
charity
 
Our main purpose is to bring reason, integrity and balance to a debate that has
become seriously unbalanced, irrationally alarmist, and all too often depressingly
intolerant.
 
The GWPF’s primary purpose is to help restore balance and trust in the climate
debate that is frequently distorted by prejudice and exaggeration
 
Our main focus is to analyse global warming policies and its economic and other
implications. Our aim is to provide the most robust and reliable economic analysis
and advice.
 
We intend to develop alternative policy options and to foster a proper debate
(which at present scarcely exists) on the likely cost and consequences of current
policies.
 
We are funded entirely by voluntary donations from a number of private individuals
and charitable trusts. In order to make clear its complete independence, we do
not accept gifts from either energy companies or anyone with a significant interest
in an energy company.”
 
The Global Warming Policy Foundation – Who we are

http://www.thegwpf.org/who-we-are.html
 
The Global Warming Policy Foundation – Board of Trustees

http://www.thegwpf.org/who-we-are/board-of-trustees.html



 

Its Director is Dr Benny Peisner, a well known climate denier.

Dr Benny Peiser

Benny Peiser is the  the founder and editor (since 1997) of CCNet, the world’s leading  climate policy network.  Benny is a Senior Lecturer at Liverpool
John Moores University and a Visting Fellow at the University of Buckingham. His
research focuses on the effects of environmental change and catastrophic events
on contemporary thought and societal evolution. A 10km-wide asteroid,
Minor Planet (7107) Peiser, was named in his honour by the International Astronomical Union.  

 

More about the GWPF at

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/nov/24/voices-of-climate-change-denial

and at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Warming_Policy_Foundation

Read more »

Carlisle Airport land wrangle leads to 45 job cuts at Stobart Group

29.1.2010   (Cumberland News)

A protracted dispute over grazing land at Carlisle Airport which has delayed
the start of its £25 million redevelopment has led to 45 workers being laid off.

Stobart Group chief executive Andrew Tinkler had hoped that work would start
this month but it is not now likely to start until March because four farmers
with grazing rights at the airport – including two whose leases cover land earmarked
for a new warehouse and offices – are refusing to surrender the land.

Mr Tinkler said this week that the farmers between them had been offered a six-figure
sum and alternative grazing land.

But they have still refused to give up the land, which extends over 200 acres.

The development is a key element of the Stobart Group’s long-term growth plan,
which will see the airport transformed into the company’s national HQ and potentially
into a regional centre for aviation services.

Mr Tinkler said he had originally scheduled work to begin on the Airport in January
– a traditionally quiet time on the railways – so that 45 Stobart Rail workers
could be employed in various construction jobs. But the delay in starting the
project has forced the company to lay

off those men.

Mr Tinkler said: "January and February are traditionally a quiet time for Network
Rail and that’s why we planned to start the airport at that time.

"We’d planned to relocate those Stobart Rail jobs to the airport.

"I had to let those workers go just after Christmas. It’s not a nice thing to
do but we have to be commercially viable.

"I want to be a good neighbour and I am not getting at these four farmers. I
understand that they are business people but it’s about trying to get a sensible
agreement that everybody can be happy with. All I’m saying is that there is the
human cost for these delays.

"You have to work that way in this sort of economic environment – you have to
keep things tight."

Mr Tinkler hopes most if not all of the workers will be re-hired when the redevelopment
gets underway.

He has argued that the terms of the farmers’ leases mean that they should surrender
their grazing land after just two months notice if the reason is "airport related".

He said: "They’re saying it’s not airport related because it will be a distribution
centre for Eddie Stobart but my argument is that the airport is unsustainable
without income from Eddie Stobart which can support it, but that’s an argument
for a judge."

Mr Tinkler added that the crucial land involved covers 28 acres, saying that
as well as offering enhanced compensation he had offered the farmers alternative
grazing land within the airport site.

The new airport facilities, much of which Mr Tinkler hopes will be built by October,
will ultimately employ 100 people.

Gordon Brown, one of the four farmers leasing land, said: "I have no problem
with the development of Carlisle Airport but it should take place within the law
and I believe the actions of Carlisle City Council in granting planning permission
were unlawful."

Carlisle City Council believe that Carlisle needs a viable working airport and
is in the process of defending its decision to grant planning permission for development
at the airport in the ongoing Judicial Review* proceedings.

 

http://www.cumberlandnews.co.uk/news/carlisle-airport-land-wrangle-leads-to-45-job-cuts-at-stobart-group-1.666027?referrerPath=

 

*   The case will go to the High Court in London on 20th and 21st April

 

 

for more about Carlisle airport and this dispute see

Carlisle Airport

 

Read more »

Heathrow Victory in the High Court – an assessment of what it means

Heathrow Victory in the High Court

An Assessment by John Stewart, Chairman of Hacan and of AirportWatch

 

The Third Runway has not yet been dropped but the ruling in the High Court of
Lord Justice Carnwath is hugely significant not just for Heathrow but for airport
expansion across the country.
 
The ruling
 

He said that that the decision by the Government in January 2009 to give BAA
the green light to draw up detailed plans for a third runway could not, in law,
be regarded as a policy decision because it failed to take full account of policy
developments in the areas of climate change and economics since the Air Transport
White Paper was published in 2003.   The Government had admitted that it was the
2003 White Paper which framed the decision.   He also found that the Government
had done insufficient work on how the increased number of passengers could be
accommodated on the roads and railways to warrant the third terminal being given
the green light.

 

Wider implications for other airport campaigns

 

It is, however, the finding around the White Paper that has most significance
for both Heathrow and for expansion proposals at other airports.   The White Paper
is Government policy.   As such all the expansion proposals at airports in the
UK are based on it.   Until now the White Paper has not been able to be challenged
at public enquiries because it was Government policy.
 

 

The Aviation White Paper killed off

 

This ruling changes all that.   The judge has ruled that the White Paper is out-of-date
because it does not take account of crucial developments in policy in the fields
of climate change and economics.   The White Paper is no longer ‘the bible’ campaigners
cannot challenge.
 

 

Government reaction

 

The Government says that it will take account of new policy developments when
drawing up its National Policy Statement in aviation, expected in 2011.   If Labour
is still in power, we wait to see what will emerge.   But until then all expansion
proposals based in the White Paper can be challenged.
 

 

A very significant judgment

 

The respected environment journalist, Geoffrey Lean, writing in the Daily Telegraph,
has said that the judgment may be even more significant than that.   He is arguing
that the effect of the ruling is that the Government is required to take into
account the latest policy developments on climate change with regard to any new
carbon-emitting development.
 

 

The future of a third runway
The future of the third runway?   The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats
have pledged to scrap it if they are in power after the forthcoming General Election.  
This ruling makes it a lot more difficult for a Labour Government to proceed with
it.
 
27.3.2010
 
 
 
 
For background on the High Court judgement see
GOVERNMENT’S HEATHROW EXPANSION PLANS IN TATTERS AS JUDGE SLAMS RUNWAY POLICY
 
The Government’s Heathrow policy is in tatters this morning after the High Court
ruled that ministers’ decision to give a green light to the proposed 3rd runway
at Heathrow does not hold any weight. The judge dismissed the Government’s claims
to the contrary as ‘untenable in law and common sense’. If the Government wants
to pursue its plans for Heathrow expansion it must now go back to square one and
reconsider the entire case for the runway. The implications of today’s ruling
are profound, not just for Heathrow but for airport expansion plans across the
UK. Lord Justice Carnwath ruled that the 2003 Air Transport White Paper – the
foundation of expansion plans across the country – is obsolete because it is inconsistent
with the Climate Change Act 2008.         26.3.2010   More …..
 
 
and more at     Heathrow news
 

Read more »

CO2 ruling may halt new airport runways

28.3.2010   (Sunday Times)

by

CAMPAIGNERS will seek to block airport expansion across Britain following a High
Court judgment which criticised the government’s decision to build a third runway
at Heathrow.

Environmental groups linked to Stansted, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and
a string of other airports hope to use the ruling to launch fresh challenges against
plans for mass growth in flights and passenger numbers.

The judgment on Friday found that ministers had failed to take account of new,
legally binding targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions when they approved
the expansion of Heathrow.

It comes after a two-year campaign by The Sunday Times revealed how BAA, the
owner of Heathrow, colluded with the government to build the case for passenger
growth.

Justine Greening, a Tory frontbencher who has led opposition to the third runway,
said: "This ruling has profound consequences for airport expansion, not just at
Heathrow but across the country. The law is there to protect people from overpowerful
and vested interests and Friday’s ruling was a victory for the people."

The government’s case for expanding Heathrow hinged on a seven-year-old aviation
white paper.   A coalition of local councils, residents and green groups argued
that it failed to take into account statutory limits on CO2 emissions that were
introduced in 2008.

Lord Justice Carnwath agreed, saying the government’s position was "untenable"
and should be reviewed. The judge said: "Common sense demanded that a policy established
in 2003, before important developments in climate change policy, should be subject
to review in light of these developments."

Carnwath declined to rule that Heathrow’s third runway should be abandoned, but
the verdict could still have repercussions across the country.

At Stansted, BAA has announced plans for a second runway which would see passenger
numbers rise from 24m to 68m by 2030. Carol Barbone, the director of Stop Stansted
Expansion, said: "Without the security blanket of government policy to rely on,
BAA knows its chances of securing a favourable result from a public inquiry are
extremely doubtful."

Activists believe that plans for a second runway at Birmingham international
airport, outlined in the 2003 aviation white paper, are now dead in the water.
Proposals to increase the number of passengers at Bristol international airport
from 6.2m to 10m by 2020, currently being considered by the local council, could
now be challenged. Carnwath’s ruling could also scupper the introduction of more
flights at Manchester airport, Southend airport in Essex and Biggin Hill in Kent.

It means that proposals by this newspaper and backed by Boris Johnson, the London
mayor, for a four-runway island airport in the Thames estuary are now highly unlikely
to proceed. However, Manchester city council has already approved plans for its
airport to expand to handle up to 50m passengers a year by 2030.

Robbie Gillett, spokesman for the Stop Expansion At Manchester Airport coalition,
said: "The expansion plans are based on outdated thinking. This ruling gives us
strong grounds to challenge further growth."

Under the climate change act, Britain is committed to reducing its CO2 emissions
by an average of 80% from 1990 levels.   Ministers denied that Carnwath’s decision
represented a setback but said that aviation policy will be re-examined in 2011
when the new climate targets will be taken into account.

Gordon Brown insisted that a new runway at Heathrow was vital to "help secure
jobs and underpin economic growth".   The prime minister said the government backed
it "after a detailed assessment showing that strict environmental limits for expansion
could be met".

Campaigners claimed that the government will now have to conduct a new public
consultation.   Kate Harrison, a lawyer for the coalition against a third runway,
said:   "Any expansion approved under the policy framework of the 2003 [white]
paper will now be open to legal challenge.   What the judge said last week was
‘Forget that framework, it’s out of date’.

"The ambitions for expanding aviation will have to be dramatically scaled back."

Theresa Villiers, the shadow transport secretary, said: "High-speed rail could
provide an attractive alternative to domestic and European flights.

"We remain opposed to a third runway on economic and environmental grounds —
if we are the next government, it won’t happen."

The judgment also vindicates criticism from campaigners that ministers underplayed
the environmental impact of a third runway when weighed up against its economic
benefits.

The ruling marked the culmination of a campaign using freedom of information
laws to reveal how BAA and the Department for Transport "fixed" data to force
through expansion plans.  In March 2008, internal documents showed BAA executives
prevented the use of data in a consultation document that showed Heathrow’s expansion
would cause unlawful levels of pollution and extra noise.

BAA used the low emissions figures of a non-existent plane to help clinch its
case. The 450-seat "virtual" jumbo was invented for environmental modelling after
BAA realised it would otherwise exceed noise and pollution limits.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7078774.ece

 

Heathrow Victory in the High Court

An Assessment by John Stewart, Chairman of Hacan and of   AirportWatch

The Third Runway has not yet been dropped but the ruling in the High Court of
Lord Justice Carnwath is hugely significant not just for Heathrow but for airport
expansion across the country.


The ruling

He said that that the decision by the Government in January 2009 to give BAA
the green light to draw up detailed plans for a third runway could not, in law,
be regarded as a policy decision because it failed to take full account of policy
developments in the areas of climate change and economics since the Air Transport
White Paper was published in 2003.   The Government had admitted that it was the
2003 White Paper which framed the decision.   He also found that the Government
had done insufficient work on how the increased number of passengers could be
accommodated on the roads and railways to warrant the third terminal being given
the green light.

Wider implications for other airport campaigns


It is, however, the finding around the White Paper that has most significance
for both Heathrow and for expansion proposals at other airports.   The White Paper
is Government policy.   As such all the expansion proposals at airports in the
UK are based on it.   Until now the White Paper has not been able to be challenged
at public enquiries because it was Government policy.

The Aviation White Paper killed off


This ruling changes all that.   The judge has ruled that the White Paper is out-of-date
because it does not take account of crucial developments in policy in the fields
of climate change and economics.   The White Paper is no longer ‘the bible’ campaigners
cannot challenge.

Government reaction


The Government says that it will take account of new policy developments when
drawing up its National Policy Statement in aviation, expected in 2011.   If Labour
is still in power, we wait to see what will emerge.   But until then all expansion
proposals based in the White Paper can be challenged.

A very significant judgment


The respected environment journalist, Geoffrey Lean, writing in the Daily Telegraph,
has said that the judgment may be even more significant than that.   He is arguing
that the effect of the ruling is that the Government is required to take into
account the latest policy developments on climate change with regard to any new
carbon-emitting development.

The future of a third runway


The future of the third runway?   The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats
have pledged to scrap it if they are in power after the forthcoming General Election.  
This ruling makes it a lot more difficult for a Labour Government to proceed with
it.
  27.3.2010
 
 
 

For background on the High Court judgement see

GOVERNMENT’S HEATHROW EXPANSION PLANS IN TATTERS AS JUDGE SLAMS RUNWAY POLICY

The Government’s Heathrow policy is in tatters this morning after the High Court
ruled that ministers’ decision to give a green light to the proposed 3rd runway
at Heathrow does not hold any weight. The judge dismissed the Government’s claims
to the contrary as ‘untenable in law and common sense’. If the Government wants
to pursue its plans for Heathrow expansion it must now go back to square one and
reconsider the entire case for the runway. The implications of today’s ruling
are profound, not just for Heathrow but for airport expansion plans across the
UK. Lord Justice Carnwath ruled that the 2003 Air Transport White Paper – the
foundation of expansion plans across the country – is obsolete because it is inconsistent
with the Climate Change Act 2008.         26.3.2010   More …..

 

and more at     Heathrow news
 

Read more »

Plane Stupid issues 48hr subvertising challenge in April

25.3.2010   (Plane Stupid)


It’s that time of year when every airline starts aggresively advertising for
your business. Well, we’ve had enough. Plane Stupid is inviting all of you to
take part in its very own subvertising competition.  
From Thursday 22nd April – Friday 23rd April
, we’ll be launching 48 hours of sticker-whacking, subvertising, adbusting pandemonium.

The aviation industry spends millions every year telling us that we’re no good
to anyone unless we keep flying with them.

So it’s time to hit back!  Like tobacco adverts, aviation advertising needs to
become a thing of the past. But until then, let’s subvertise. Any poster, advert
or billboard is fair game.

Whether you’re a first time activist looking for an easy way-in, or an old timer
looking for some light relief………it’s time to take to the streets and reclaim
some public space. Taking part is easy:

  1. You can download a choice of designs from our Flickr site, or use your design
    skills to make your own.
  2. Print them out on standard, non divided, A4 sticker paper (available from most
    printers and stationers)   for example Jessops link.
  3. Then find your nearest aviation advertisement.
  4. Stick ’em up punk!
  5. Take photographs, set up a new temporary email adress in an internet cafe (under
    a pseudonym) and email your images to
    info@planestupid.com.

The group who stickers the most adverts in the 48 hour period wins. Wins what?
Prizes! We got the bumper crop of 5 spray cans, Culture Jam by Kalle Lasn, Do It Yourself, A handbook for changing our world, by the Trapese Collective and Scribbleboy by Philip Ridley to give away.

Of course don’t feel limited to individual stickers, think big! You can write
your own message on large stretches of blank wall paper to cover whole bill boards.
Make up some wall paper paste, get a paint roller, a stick it up. If necessary
– attach the roller to a broom handle for those
hard to reach places. Helpfully, there’s some great how-to guides on t’internet.

One last point. Please be respectful about where you sticker. Corporate nasties
are fine…..but the local old people’s homes may not appreciate your art on their
walls!

Use your head, and remember to dress well for the occasion – caps and scarfs
are the in thing this subvertising season. Some officers of the law may be convinced
that subvertising is borderline illegal, so take a friend as lookout, keep an
eye open for CCTV and don’t get caught.

Read more »

Heathrow protesters win third runway court victory

27.3.2010   (Guardian)

by Owen Bowcott and agencies

The government’s plans for a third runway at Heathrow were dealt a blow today after a high court judge agreed with campaigners that
climate change threats had not been taken seriously enough.

In a complex judgment, Lord Justice Carnwath declined to quash the controversial
planning proposal but branded the original position adopted in the government’s
authorisation as untenable.

The judge ordered Whitehall officials to give a formal undertaking that they
would carry out a further policy review
.

The lengthy judgment was hailed as a victory by both the transport department
and the coalition of local councils, green groups and residents who had gone to
the courts objecting to the plans for a third runway, saying it was inconsistent
with government targets to cut carbon emissions.

On the question of whether the government had taken threats to global warming
into consideration sufficiently, the judge remarked: “The [objectors’] submissions add up, in my view, to a powerful demonstration
of the potential significance of developments in climate change policy since the
2003 white paper. They are clearly matters which will need to be taken into account
under the new airports NPS [national policy statement].”

But he added: “I am not able, at least on the material before me, to hold that any of these
points amounts to a ‘show-stopper’, in the sense that the only rational response
would be to abandon the whole project at this stage.”

In the course of his judgment, Lord Justice Carnwath also observed: “I find myself
unable wholly to support the position taken by either party”.

A further hearing is due next month to consider costs and whether fresh legal
orders need to be made.

Ministers insisted that today’s ruling would have little practical impact on
their current planning policy while campaigners – who posed for photographers
with champagne glasses outside the royal courts of justice in central London –
relished the judicial reproaches and insisted it would ultimately prevent construction.

The Conservative leader, David Cameron, whose party opposes a third runway, claimed
the judgment was a severe embarrassment for the government: “[Their] policy is
in tatters. They made the wrong judgment about this, we made the right judgment
… There is no case for it on environmental grounds, there is no strong business
case for it.”

Speaking in Brussels, however, the prime minister, Gordon Brown, insisted a new
runway was vital to “help secure jobs and underpin economic growth”, adding that
the government had backed an extra runway “only after a detailed assessment showing
that the strict environmental limits for expansion could be met”.

The coalition opposed to the new runway includes WWF-UK, Greenpeace and the Campaign
to Protect Rural England (CPRE). In a joint statement, the groups said: “If the
government wants to pursue its plans for Heathrow expansion it must now go back
to square one and reconsider the entire case for the runway.”

Hayes and Harlington Labour MP John McDonnell, who has led the campaign against
the expansion of Heathrow for 30 years, said: “In essence, this judgment means
that the game is up for a third runway at Heathrow and I am calling upon the government
to accept the inevitable and lift this threat to my community.”

But the transport secretary, Lord Adonis, countered their claims: “I welcome
this court ruling. Heathrow is Britain’s principal hub airport. It is vital not
only to the national economy but also enables millions of citizens to keep in
touch with their friends and family and to take a well-deserved holiday.

“The airport is currently operating at full capacity. A new runway at Heathrow
will help secure jobs and underpin economic growth as we come out of recession.
It is also entirely compatible with our carbon-reduction target, as demonstrated
in the
recent report by the Committee on Climate Change.

A transport department spokesman insisted officials had accepted during the hearings
that they would take developments in climate change into account in the preparation
of the national policy statement on the new runway, due in 2011. “BAA are still
free to bring forward a planning application,” he added.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/mar/26/heathrow-third-runway-travel-and-transport

 

 

see other extensive coverage of the story in other papers:

 

BBC Heathrow opponents win caseCampaigners win a High Court battle for further consultation into plans for a
third runway at Heathrow Airport.

 

Independent   Objectors claim Heathrow runway victory Objectors claimed the Government’s policy over the expansion of London’s Heathrow
Airport was

 

Independenet   No third runway " yet: judge wades into Heathrow battle The political arguments about a third runway for London’s Heathrow airport broke
out again fiercely last night after a High Court judge declined to quash the project
but told the Government to get its aviation policy in order.

 

Times     Heathrow third runway plan in tatters after ruling, claim opponentsEnvironmental campaigners and local authorities opposed to Heathrow expansion
popped champagne corks on the steps of the High Court yesterday to celebrate a
ruling that they said left plans to build a third runway at Europeâ„¢s busiest airport
Å“in tatters .

 

Reuters     Judge deals blow to Heathrow expansionLONDON (Reuters) – The government’s plans for a third runway at Heathrow airport
were dealt a blow on Friday after a court ruled it must review the climate change
and economic impact before the expansion can go ahead.

 

and yesterday at:

Government is still saying Heathrow ruling will not change plans

News Item added: 27th March 2010

A High Court defeat will not change the government’s plans to build a 3rd runway
at Heathrow; Lord Adonis said the High Court ruling had not killed off plans for
the runway, just ordered more consultation, something he said the government would
do. This interpretation of the ruling is contested by opponents. Gordon Brown
said a new runway was necessary and enables “millions of citizens to keep in touch
with their friends and families”.

 

 

Cheap flights from Heathrow are not a God-given right

News Item added: 27th March 2010

Christian Wolmar says it’s time to give up on expanding Heathrow, after the High
Court ruling yesterday said there had been insufficient consultation on the 3rd
runway. The days of the State being able to bulldoze whole villages out of existence
in the supposed "national interest" are long gone. Even the most fervent aviation
supporters recognise that it is an environmentally damaging activity and the notion
that cheap flights are a God-given right is nonsense.

 

 

Ruling on Heathrow’s 3rd runway will ground big projects

News Item added: 26th March 2010

Geoffrey Lean writes that the High Court judgment that ministers must reconsider
Heathrow’s 3rd runway may prove to be one of the most far-reaching rulings for
decades. It almost certainly ensures that the runway will never be built, but
it also undermines the Government’s entire programme for expanding airports around
the country, and other carbon-intensive infrastructure. The precedent could be
enormously significant for other new developments too.

 

 

High Court Ruling throws expansion plans at Southend airport into question

News Item added: 26th March 2010

Plans to expand Southend airport were thrown into serious doubt today when a
High Court Judge said that the Government’s 2003 aviation policy didn’t fully
take into account the effects of climate change. In a damning ruling Lord Justice
Carnwath said that the 2003 ATWP – the basis for at airports around the country,
including Southend – needs to be re-thought in the light of climate change and
the UK’s Climate Change Act 2008.

 

 

Birmingham: Time to scrap runway plans

News Item added: 26th March 2010

Following a High Court judge’s ruling against the decision to approve Heathrow’s
3rd runway local environmental campaigners said the same should apply to plans
for the expansion of Birmingham Airport. Lord Justice Carnwath ruled that the
2003 ATWP is obsolete because it is inconsistent with the Climate Change Act 2008.
The government must prepare an NPS to establish the case before large infrastructure
expansion can go ahead. (B’ham FoE)

 

 

Stansted: Government airport policy in disarray after High Court ruling on Heathrow

News Item added: 26th March 2010

Stop Stansted Expansion has welcomed a High Court ruling that the Government’s
2003 Air Transport White Paper is outdated and needs to be rewritten to take account
of climate change targets. The judgment has major implications for airport expansion
battles across the UK, effectively removing policy support for a 2nd runway at
Stansted. The judge ruled that the carbon costs of aviation must be included when
the economics of airport expansion. (SSE)

 

 

A45 diversion plan for Birmingham airport runway extension to cost £32 million

News Item added: 26th March 2010

Radical plans to move a major trunk road so that the Birmingham International
Airport runway extension can take place will cost £32 million. Birmingham City
Council and Solihull Council intend to split the cost of diverting the busy A45.
It will also provide faster car and bus access to the airport and NEC, and could
eventually have a Midland Metro tram line running alongside. (B’ham Mail)

 

 

Heathrow 3rd runway plans grounded but they could still take flight

News Item added: 26th March 2010

Immediately after the Heathrow 3rd runway ruling today, Transport Secretary Lord
Adonis said he is determined to press ahead with the plans, which could see the
number of Heathrow flights soar to 605,000 a year and then to more than 700,000.
This may be a bit of bravado, but Adonis says Heathrow is full, it is vital for
Britain, and the government had always planned to have another consultation before
going ahead with the runway – (if they win the election).

 

 

High Court Ruling on Heathrow 3rd runway throws expansion plans at Scottish airports
into question

News Item added: 26th March 2010

Plans to expand Edinburgh, Glasgow and other Scottish airports were thrown into
serious doubt today when a High Court Judge said that the Government’s 2003 aviation
policy didn’t fully take into account the effects of climate change and the Climate
Change Act 2008. The ruling means expansion plans at Heathrow and dozens of other
airports around the country, including Scotland, need to be re-thought. The Aviation
White Paper has to be be radically overhauled.

Government is still saying Heathrow ruling will not change plans

Date Added: 27th March 2010

A High Court defeat will not change the government’s plans to build a 3rd runway
at Heathrow; Lord Adonis said the High Court ruling had not killed off plans for
the runway, just ordered more consultation, something he said the government would
do. This interpretation of the ruling is contested by opponents. Gordon Brown
said a new runway was necessary and enables “millions of citizens to keep in touch
with their friends and families”.

Click here to view full story…



 

Cheap flights from Heathrow are not a God-given right

Date Added: 27th March 2010

Christian Wolmar says it’s time to give up on expanding Heathrow, after the High
Court ruling yesterday said there had been insufficient consultation on the 3rd
runway. The days of the State being able to bulldoze whole villages out of existence
in the supposed "national interest" are long gone. Even the most fervent aviation
supporters recognise that it is an environmentally damaging activity and the notion
that cheap flights are a God-given right is nonsense.

Click here to view full story…



 

High Court Ruling throws expansion plans at Southend airport into question

Date Added: 26th March 2010

Plans to expand Southend airport were thrown into serious doubt today when a
High Court Judge said that the Government’s 2003 aviation policy didn’t fully
take into account the effects of climate change. In a damning ruling Lord Justice
Carnwath said that the 2003 ATWP – the basis for at airports around the country,
including Southend – needs to be re-thought in the light of climate change and
the UK’s Climate Change Act 2008.

Click here to view full story…



 

Birmingham: Time to scrap runway plans

Date Added: 26th March 2010

Following a High Court judge’s ruling against the decision to approve Heathrow’s
3rd runway local environmental campaigners said the same should apply to plans
for the expansion of Birmingham Airport. Lord Justice Carnwath ruled that the
2003 ATWP is obsolete because it is inconsistent with the Climate Change Act 2008.
The government must prepare an NPS to establish the case before large infrastructure
expansion can go ahead. (B’ham FoE)

Click here to view full story…



 

Stansted: Government airport policy in disarray after High Court ruling on Heathrow

Date Added: 26th March 2010

Stop Stansted Expansion has welcomed a High Court ruling that the Government’s
2003 Air Transport White Paper is outdated and needs to be rewritten to take account
of climate change targets. The judgment has major implications for airport expansion
battles across the UK, effectively removing policy support for a 2nd runway at
Stansted. The judge ruled that the carbon costs of aviation must be included when
the economics of airport expansion. (SSE)

Click here to view full story…

 

Heathrow 3rd runway plans grounded but they could still take flight

Date Added: 26th March 2010

Immediately after the Heathrow 3rd runway ruling today, Transport Secretary Lord
Adonis said he is determined to press ahead with the plans, which could see the
number of Heathrow flights soar to 605,000 a year and then to more than 700,000.
This may be a bit of bravado, but Adonis says Heathrow is full, it is vital for
Britain, and the government had always planned to have another consultation before
going ahead with the runway – (if they win the election).

Click here to view full story…



 

High Court Ruling on Heathrow 3rd runway throws expansion plans at Scottish airports
into question

Date Added: 26th March 2010

Plans to expand Edinburgh, Glasgow and other Scottish airports were thrown into
serious doubt today when a High Court Judge said that the Government’s 2003 aviation
policy didn’t fully take into account the effects of climate change and the Climate
Change Act 2008. The ruling means expansion plans at Heathrow and dozens of other
airports around the country, including Scotland, need to be re-thought. The Aviation
White Paper has to be be radically overhauled.

Click here to view full story…

 

Heathrow’s third runway ‘dead’ and runway decision ‘untenable’

Date Added: 26th March 2010

The ruling of Judge Carnwath at the High Court has set back plans for a 3rd runway
at Heathrow for years, with campaigners calling the project “dead”. The alliance
of local councils and environmental groups has resulted in a resounding defeat
for the government. Strangely Andrew Adonis quickly put out a statement saying
he welcomed the ruling. If the Government wants to pursue its 3rd runway plans
it must now go back to square one.

Click here to view full story…

Government is still saying Heathrow ruling will not change plans

News Item added: 27th March 2010

A High Court defeat will not change the government’s plans to build a 3rd runway
at Heathrow; Lord Adonis said the High Court ruling had not killed off plans for
the runway, just ordered more consultation, something he said the government would
do. This interpretation of the ruling is contested by opponents. Gordon Brown
said a new runway was necessary and enables “millions of citizens to keep in touch
with their friends and families”.

 

 

Cheap flights from Heathrow are not a God-given right

News Item added: 27th March 2010

Christian Wolmar says it’s time to give up on expanding Heathrow, after the High
Court ruling yesterday said there had been insufficient consultation on the 3rd
runway. The days of the State being able to bulldoze whole villages out of existence
in the supposed "national interest" are long gone. Even the most fervent aviation
supporters recognise that it is an environmentally damaging activity and the notion
that cheap flights are a God-given right is nonsense.

 

 

Ruling on Heathrow’s 3rd runway will ground big projects

News Item added: 26th March 2010

Geoffrey Lean writes that the High Court judgment that ministers must reconsider
Heathrow’s 3rd runway may prove to be one of the most far-reaching rulings for
decades. It almost certainly ensures that the runway will never be built, but
it also undermines the Government’s entire programme for expanding airports around
the country, and other carbon-intensive infrastructure. The precedent could be
enormously significant for other new developments too.

 

 

High Court Ruling throws expansion plans at Southend airport into question

News Item added: 26th March 2010

Plans to expand Southend airport were thrown into serious doubt today when a
High Court Judge said that the Government’s 2003 aviation policy didn’t fully
take into account the effects of climate change. In a damning ruling Lord Justice
Carnwath said that the 2003 ATWP – the basis for at airports around the country,
including Southend – needs to be re-thought in the light of climate change and
the UK’s Climate Change Act 2008.

 

 

Birmingham: Time to scrap runway plans

News Item added: 26th March 2010

Following a High Court judge’s ruling against the decision to approve Heathrow’s
3rd runway local environmental campaigners said the same should apply to plans
for the expansion of Birmingham Airport. Lord Justice Carnwath ruled that the
2003 ATWP is obsolete because it is inconsistent with the Climate Change Act 2008.
The government must prepare an NPS to establish the case before large infrastructure
expansion can go ahead. (B’ham FoE)

 

 

Stansted: Government airport policy in disarray after High Court ruling on Heathrow

News Item added: 26th March 2010

Stop Stansted Expansion has welcomed a High Court ruling that the Government’s
2003 Air Transport White Paper is outdated and needs to be rewritten to take account
of climate change targets. The judgment has major implications for airport expansion
battles across the UK, effectively removing policy support for a 2nd runway at
Stansted. The judge ruled that the carbon costs of aviation must be included when
the economics of airport expansion. (SSE)

 

 

A45 diversion plan for Birmingham airport runway extension to cost £32 million

News Item added: 26th March 2010

Radical plans to move a major trunk road so that the Birmingham International
Airport runway extension can take place will cost £32 million. Birmingham City
Council and Solihull Council intend to split the cost of diverting the busy A45.
It will also provide faster car and bus access to the airport and NEC, and could
eventually have a Midland Metro tram line running alongside. (B’ham Mail)

 

 

Heathrow 3rd runway plans grounded but they could still take flight

News Item added: 26th March 2010

Immediately after the Heathrow 3rd runway ruling today, Transport Secretary Lord
Adonis said he is determined to press ahead with the plans, which could see the
number of Heathrow flights soar to 605,000 a year and then to more than 700,000.
This may be a bit of bravado, but Adonis says Heathrow is full, it is vital for
Britain, and the government had always planned to have another consultation before
going ahead with the runway – (if they win the election).

 

 

High Court Ruling on Heathrow 3rd runway throws expansion plans at Scottish airports
into question

News Item added: 26th March 2010

Plans to expand Edinburgh, Glasgow and other Scottish airports were thrown into
serious doubt today when a High Court Judge said that the Government’s 2003 aviation
policy didn’t fully take into account the effects of climate change and the Climate
Change Act 2008. The ruling means expansion plans at Heathrow and dozens of other
airports around the country, including Scotland, need to be re-thought. The Aviation
White Paper has to be be radically overhauled.

GOVERNMENT’S HEATHROW EXPANSION PLANS IN TATTERS AS JUDGE SLAMS RUNWAY POLICY

Date Added: 26th March 2010

The Government’s Heathrow policy is in tatters this morning after the High Court
ruled that ministers’ decision to give a green light to the proposed 3rd runway
at Heathrow does not hold any weight. The judge dismissed the Government’s claims
to the contrary as ‘untenable in law and common sense’. If the Government wants
to pursue its plans for Heathrow expansion it must now go back to square one and
reconsider the entire case for the runway. The implications of today’s ruling
are profound, not just for Heathrow but for airport expansion plans across the
UK. Lord Justice Carnwath ruled that the 2003 Air Transport White Paper – the
foundation of expansion plans across the country – is obsolete because it is inconsistent
with the Climate Change Act 2008.

Click here to view full story…

 

 

 

Read more »

Cheap flights from Heathrow are not a God-given right

27.3.2010   (Times)

by Christian Wolmar

Málaga is hardly a front-rank destination that is vital to UK plc

It’s time to give up on expanding Heathrow, the world’s least-loved airport.
The High Court ruling yesterday that there had been insufficient consultation
on the third runway was the second kick in the teeth for the airport in the past
couple of weeks.

The first was when Lord Adonis, the Transport Secretary, announced that the preferred
route for the high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham would not connect
directly with the airport as it made no sense to divert the line for a relatively
small market.

Now the beleaguered residents of Sipson, the village unluckily sited in the path
of the new runway, have got what they wanted: a delay that could well signal the
end of any hopes of building the third runway. They are not the only opponents.
David Cameron, in his brief green phase, committed the Tories to abandoning the
project if they won the election, while the Liberal Democrats have always opposed
it.

Let’s face it. The days of the State being able to bulldoze whole villages out
of existence in the supposed "national interest" are long gone. London became
a no-go for new major roads a generation ago when the motorway ring roads were
scrapped, and there is now no prospect of any new motorways being built on our
small island. The high-speed line itself faces enormous opposition from the Chiltern
thousands.



The case for the third runway at Heathrow has always been weak.  When I interviewed
Lord Adonis a couple of weeks ago, it was noticeable that he was most ill at ease
when trying to make the case for it.

His argument was rather tortuous. He admits now that the Aviation White Paper
published in 2003, which envisaged a doubling of passengers by 2030 and new runways
at both Heathrow and Stansted, was wrong in placing no constraints on the "predict
and provide" model of aviation growth.   However, he says that it would be wrong
to have no new capacity in the South East: "Should there be more constraints on
aviation growth than envisaged before? The answer is yes. But should we rule out
any expansion in the South East? That would result in a benefit foregone."

But would it?

Labour ministers have tended to parrot the line espoused by the Freedom to Fly
lobby that restricting expansion would lead to poorer people not being able to
afford flights.  But this is a remarkably specious argument. The market governs
the demand and supply of almost every other product, why should aviation be exempt?

When I asked Brian Wilson, the former minister and now chairman of Freedom to
Fly, why people should have unlimited access to free flights but not, say Rolex
watches, he blustered that people had got used to holidaying annually in Spain
and Greece and therefore had a right to expect to continue to be able to do so.

That is an extraordinary argument. Even the most fervent aviation supporters
recognise that it is an environmentally damaging activity and the notion that
cheap flights are a God-given right is nonsense.

The solution is to subject aviation to the discipline of the market from which
it has been shielded since Louis Blériot took to the air. I flew into Heathrow
last week from Málaga, hardly a front-rank destination that business travellers
are clamouring to use. Heathrow is full of similar flights to marginal destinations
that are not important to UK plc. If there were really great excess demand at
Heathrow, how come the airport still provides so many cheap flights to such destinations?

To test the market, Heathrow flying slots ought to become freely tradeable —
instead, which airlines hold which slots is the result of carve-ups from years
back, even from the days of Imperial Airways. If the slots were opened up, then
the true extent of demand for flights from the airport would become apparent.
Short-haul flights would move to cheaper airports freeing up capacity for the
long-haul flights that Lord Adonis says are essential to Britain’s economic future.
And the villagers of Sipson could breathe a sigh of relief.

Christian Wolmar’s latest book, Blood, Iron and Gold: How the Railways Transformed
the World, is published by Atlantic Books      
Amazon

 

link to article

Read more »

Ruling on Heathrow’s 3rd runway will ground big projects

26.3.2010   (Telegraph)

by Geoffrey Lean

Lord Justice Carnwath’s ruling this week is surely the final nail in the runway’s
coffin.

Yesterday’s High Court judgment that ministers must reconsider Heathrow’s third
runway may prove to be one of the most far-reaching rulings for decades. It almost
certainly ensures that the runway will never be built, but it also undermines
the Government’s entire programme for expanding airports around the country, and
other carbon-intensive infrastructure.

Lord Justice Carnwath’s ruling is surely the final nail in the runway’s coffin.
It will take months to conduct the review he has ordered, by which time the election
will be over. Both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have come out against
it, so it could only survive if there were a clear Labour victory. Even then it
would not be secure because the Cabinet is split, with its rising figures – including
the Transport Secretary, Lord Adonis – opposed.

Both the runway and other airport expansion must be reviewed, the judge ruled,
because the world has changed since they were first endorsed in a 2003 White Paper.
The Government’s climate policies now seem to contradict the environmental case
for more airport capacity, he pointed out, while the rising cost of emitting carbon
damages their economic rationale.

The precedent could be enormously significant. It suggests that ministers may
have to justify plans for new developments – from roads to power stations – in
terms of their impact on climate change. That could do much to help introduce
the much-heralded low carbon economy.

 

link to article

Read more »

High Court Ruling throws expansion plans at Southend airport into question

26.3.2010   (SAEN press release – Stop Airport Expansion Now at Southend)

PLANS to expand Southend airport were thrown into serious doubt today when a
High Court Judge said that the Government’s 2003 aviation policy didn’t fully
take into account the effects of climate change.

In a damning ruling handed down at the Royal Courts of Justice today, Lord Justice
Carnwath said that the Government’s 2003 Aviation White Paper – the basis for
expansion at Heathrow airport and dozens of other airports around the country,
including Southend – needs to be re-thought in the light of climate change and
the UK’s climate change laws. This effectively means that the white paper must
now be radically over-hauled so that it is in line with the Climate Change Act
2008.

Climate Campaigner Anna Jones, of Greenpeace, said "Today’s ruling exposes a Government airport expansion policy that is
out of control. This country needs a better railway system, not new runways. The
Government cannot continue to ignore the impact of aviation on climate change.
They should shelve all airport expansion plans now; every increase in capacity
makes our problems worse."

Press officer for SAEN[1], Denis Walker, added     "It has been obvious to us all along that as well as blighting the
lives of thousands of local residents, the expansion of Southend Airport would
be disastrous for the environment. Lord Justice Carnwath has today totally vindicated
this position and the Airport can expect to see us in court soon."

The judgment was delivered in response to a Judicial Review brought by Greenpeace
and 12 other groups, including local councils, residents groups and other leading
green groups. They argued that the consultation process which led to the decision
to allow a 3rd runway at Heathrow to be built was fundamentally flawed and that
the decision to expand Heathrow is at odds with the UK’s overall climate change
targets.

The Climate Change Committee – an independent watchdog created by the act – recently
advised the Government that around half of the planned airport expansion in the
UK would have to be scrapped if the Government’s own aviation emissions target
is to be met and that therefore it needed to review its 2003 aviation expansion
policy.

ENDS.

Notes to Editors

  1. "Stop Airport Extension Now" (SAEN) was formed to campaign against the runway
    extension at Southend Airport. The group is not opposed to the Airport itself,
    which has co-existed with the residents of Southend for many years. SAEN is against
    the runway extension, which would lead to a massive increase in flights and destroy
    the lives of the people living, working or going to school anywhere near the flightpath.

For further information:

  • Call Denis Walker, Press Officer SAEN (Stop Airport Extension Now)
  • Visit the SAEN website – http://saen.org.uk

http://www.saen.org.uk/2010/03/high-court-ruling-throws-expansion-plans-at-southend-airport-into-question/

 

 

For more details of the High Court  Heathrow ruling, see

 

GOVERNMENT’S HEATHROW EXPANSION PLANS IN TATTERS AS JUDGE SLAMS RUNWAY POLICY

The Government’s Heathrow policy is in tatters this morning after the High Court
ruled that ministers’ decision to give a green light to the proposed 3rd runway
at Heathrow does not hold any weight. The judge dismissed the Government’s claims
to the contrary as ‘untenable in law and common sense’. If the Government wants
to pursue its plans for Heathrow expansion it must now go back to square one and
reconsider the entire case for the runway. The implications of today’s ruling
are profound, not just for Heathrow but for airport expansion plans across the
UK. Lord Justice Carnwath ruled that the 2003 Air Transport White Paper – the
foundation of expansion plans across the country – is obsolete because it is inconsistent
with the Climate Change Act 2008.         26.3.2010   More …..

Read more »

Birmingham: Time to scrap runway plans

26.3.2010   (Birmingham Friends of the Earth – press release)

by Joe Peacock    

Following a high court judge’s ruling against the decision to approve Heathrow’s
3rd runway local environmental campaigners said the same should apply to plans for
the expansion of Birmingham International Airport.

Lord Justice Carnwath ruled that the 2003 Air Transport White Paper – the foundation
of expansion plans across the country – is obsolete because it is inconsistent
with the Climate Change Act 2008.

The government must prepare a national policy statement, required to establish
the case for major infrastructure projects, before the expansion can go ahead.

Carnwath said the preparation of the statement “will necessarily involve a review
of all the relevant policy issues including the impact of climate change policy.”

“It makes no sense to treat the economic case as settled in 2003,” he said.

Birmingham Friends of the Earth has long argued that massively underestimating
of the cost to society of emitting carbon has a huge impact on the economic case
for the runway extension and this has now been confirmed on a national level.

This comes as both Birmingham and Solihull councils have apparently offered to
fund plans to move the A45 to enable the proposed runway extension at BIA to go
ahead – amazingly to the tune of £32 million!!!!!

Joe Peacock from Birmingham Friends of the Earth stated "With today’s ruling
it would be madness for the council to be using taxpayers’ money to subsidise
the airport’s expansion plans."

"It is now clear that, as well as being incredibly damaging environmentally,
expanding aviation does not make economic sense and the airport should not be
coming cap-in-hand to the council to help out."

"In such difficult economic times money should be invested in supporting local
low-carbon business infrastructure that will benefit local people and in turn
deliver a Green New Deal for the West Midlands."

ENDS



 

Notes to Editors

The full text of the ruling is here:

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2010/626.html 

Birmingham Friends of the Earth campaigns on many environmental issues, including
the promotion of sustainable transport.

For more information contact:  

Joe Peacock (Birmingham Friends of the Earth)

0121 632 6909

joe_at_birminghamfoe.org.uk
 

Read more »