Heathrow Hub asks Boris Johnson and Grant Shapps to order a Section 6 Review of the Heathrow 3rd runway NPS

Heathrow Hub, the rival Heathrow runway scheme that wants to effectively build a third runway, onto the western end of the northern runway, has now called on Boris Johnson and Grant Shapps to implement a “Section 6 review” *  of Heathrow 3rd runway. They say this is due to spiralling costs and also, bizarrely (as their plan also greatly increases CO2)  “the incompatibility of the 3rd runway with the Government’s net zero carbon emissions by 2050.” Heathrow Hub are very critical of many aspects of Heathrow’s planning for its runway, including failure to provide information. They are particularly critical of the lack of details about Heathrow’s surface access plans. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has now deemed Heathrow to be a Public Authority and has ordered it to comply with its obligations under the EIR – so it has to respond to FoI requests, such as on surface access plans. Heathrow Hub says Heathrow’s latest consultation reveals a scheme that continues to change from the designated ANPS. The Government decision to approve the NPS and “designate” it is being challenged legally, with a judgement by the Court of Appeal expected on 28th February. 


  • Under Section 6 of the Planning Act, the Secretary of State has the power to conduct a review of a National Policy Statement if there has been “a significant change in circumstances”.


Boris Johnson should order a Section 6 Review of Heathrow Airport’s 3rd Runway

Heathrow Hub press release


• Heathrow Hub extended runway consortium repeats call for a Section 6 review of Heathrow Airport’s 3rd runway
• Heathrow Airport is forced by Information Commissioner to reveal its surface access plans

Heathrow Hub, the independent promoter of the proposal to extend the Northern Runway (ENR) at Heathrow rather than building a 3rd Runway, calls again on Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to implement a Section 6 review of Heathrow expansion due to two significant changes in circumstances. The first being spiralling cost and the second, the incompatibility of the 3rd Runway with the Government’s net zero carbon emissions by 2050. [See note below …]

Heathrow Airport Ltd.’s (HAL) 3rd Runway plans continue to veer from the designated Airports National Policy Statement as costs increase, with a dependence on a massive increase in flights, 260,000 annually (a rise of 50%), to make the scheme economically viable.

At the same time, HAL has been reluctant to divulge information about its surface access plans for the 3rd Runway, challenging the idea that it is a public authority for the purposes of the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR).

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has now deemed HAL to be a Public Authority and has ordered it to comply with its obligations under the EIR and to respond to the information request. As part of its decision-making process it has also deemed that HAL has “special powers” including the ability to acquire land compulsorily for any purpose connected with the performance of its functions as an airport operator, differentiating it from a normal commercial company.

Jock Lowe, director, Heathrow Hub commented: “It comes as no surprise to us that HAL has attempted to block the disclosure of its surface access plans. In its latest consultation it revealed a scheme that continues to change from the designated ANPS. The complexity of the project and its associated costs continue to balloon, affecting airlines, consumers and local communities who will suffer as a result of increased costs, noise and emissions.

“The Government should stop prevaricating and review this unnecessarily expensive and disruptive option for Heathrow expansion and instead choose our cheaper, greener, quieter, quicker and simpler scheme, which will ensure that environmental standards are met, not compromised.

“Our extended runway can still, even now, be built before the 3rd Runway. It is a solution that has been deemed viable by the Airports Commission and it will cost just £4.7bn for the first phase. It does not rely on extra flights. It will make the airport more efficient. It will ensure passenger charges stay flat. And it is a way out for Boris Johnson, who rightly does not like the 3rd Runway.”

Heathrow Hub has appealed the High Court’s refusal to quash the Airports National Policy Statement and is awaiting a judgement from the Court of Appeal.


Boscobel & Partners
George Trefgarne
Charlotte Walsh 0203 642 1310

Heathrow Hub
Jock Lowe 07831 599 925

Notes to editors
Heathrow Hub is an independent proposal for additional capacity at Heathrow, by extending the existing northern runway westwards away from London, negating the need to build a third runway. It was deemed viable by the Airports Commission. Planes would land at one end and take off at the other. The scheme is cheaper, greener, quicker and simpler. It also destroys fewer houses and was deemed viable by the Airports Commission. For more information and images, please visit: www.heathrowhub.com
Heathrow Hub’s proposal to extend the Northern Runway has been independently costed at £4.7 billion for its first phase.


The AirportWatch comment about carbon emissions


In the Airport Commission’s report about the Heathrow Hub option  “Heathrow Airport Extended Northern Runway: Business Case and Sustainability Assessment” in Nov 2014 they said:

“The proposed Extended Northern Runway would increase ATM capacity from 480,000 currently to 700,000.”



That is only 20,000 annual flights less the Heathrow 3rd Northern runway aspiration.

So how Heathrow Hub can justify claiming their scheme does not cause a carbon problem is a bit of a mystery.


See earlier: 


Shapps urged to review Heathrow third runway

2 Oct 2019

By Molly Dyson  (Buying Business Travel)

Lawyers for an independent group proposing an alternative scheme for expanding Heathrow have written to transport secretary Grant Shapps urging him to conduct a review of Parliament’s support for the airport’s own third runway plans.

Heathrow Hub, which put forward a proposal to expand an existing runway at the UK’s busiest airport to accommodate extra capacity, said its legal adviser DAC Beachcroft has ‘demanded’ a Section 6 review of the June 2018 vote in which MPs approved building a third runway.

Under Section 6 of the Planning Act, the secretary of state has the power to conduct a review of a National Policy Statement if there has been “a significant change in circumstances”, according to Heathrow Hub.

The group, which has taken its opposition to the third runway to the courts, claimed there have been two major developments that warrant Shapps to take a second look at the process by which the government decided to approve Heathrow Airport Ltd’s scheme over other proposals.

The first is “mounting evidence” that the third runway project’s costs “are rising rapidly”. Heathrow Hub pointed to a recent letter from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to the Department for Transport in which it raised concerns about the £14 billion estimate for the project. Heathrow Hub said the consultation shows pre-planning costs have tripled to £2.9 billion.

The CAA has cast doubt on the third runway’s final cost in the past and has urged the company to be transparent about how it plans to privately fund the project.

Secondly, the group said the new UK law targeting net zero carbon emissions by 2050 makes it “hard to see how airport expansion on this scale is compatible with meeting” the goal. It claimed departing flights from the UK already account for 7.5 per cent of total emissions.

Heathrow Hub maintains that its proposal to extend one of the airport’s existing runways is “cheaper, quicker to build, greener and less disruptive than Heathrow Airport Ltd’s proposal, which, among other flaws, has no published plan to get the new runway over the M25 so close to the M4 junction”.

A spokesperson for the group commented: “As time goes on it becomes clearer that the government has made a big mistake in backing the third runway. Its ballooning costs will ultimately be borne by consumers via higher passenger fees; and the resulting carbon emissions do not seem remotely compatible with the net zero by 2050 target. Instead of fighting for the third runway in court, Boris Johnson and Grant Shapps should announce an urgent review, just as they have of HS2.”

Shapps himself has hinted that he has worries regarding Heathrow’s expansion, telling Sky News in August that he would be “taking a really, really close look at” the project’s costs. He said Heathrow Airport Ltd is “going to need to make sure they bring in enough income to justify the billions of pounds spent on [the third runway]”, citing specific concern over whether the cost would add to passenger charges.