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

26.3.2010   (Down to Earth press release – Scotland)

A High Court Ruling on Heathrow 3rd Runway throws expansion plans at Scottish
airports into question.   Councils, green groups and residents  near airports across
the UK celebrate victory and call on Government to scrap third runway


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.

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
Scotland " 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,
and has serious ramifications for Scottish airports.

Plane Stupid Scotland member Dan Glass said:   “The damming rule against Heathrow
3rd Runway this morning is fantastic news for anti-expansion campaigns throughout
Scotland.  In the face of climate change and increasing pollution, common sense
finally prevails.  If it can happen at Heathrow, if it can happen against expansions
across the world, it can happen in Scotland too, why not?”

Climate Campaigner Anna Jones 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.”

The judgement 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

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


For more info contact the Greenpeace press office on 0207 865 8255

or Plane Stupid Scotland on 07717811747

The judge’s ruling in full is at     http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2010/626.html



see the full press release by the coalition bringing the Judicial Review:



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.

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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.

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