Southampton legal challenge against airport decision by Eastleigh Borough Council
The local campaign against the expansion of Southampton airport, AXO, has now decided to make a legal challenge against Eastleigh Borough Council, and their decision to allow extension of the runway. That extension would have the effect of increasing the number of flights using the airport, and allow flights to more distant destinations – increasing the overall carbon emissions. Decisions such as these, resulting in more climate heating, need full scrutiny and that can now only happen by Judicial Review. The opponents of Southampton Airport expansion have instructed a legal team led by Leigh Day and David Wolfe QC to pursue the case, and are launching a public appeal for money to help finance the action. AXO believe strongly that the council’s decision was wrong both in the way it was taken and the arguments to justify it. The airport has greatly overstated the economic benefits of expansion, which will adversely affect the quality of lives of around 46,000 residents, whilst hugely underplaying the environmental impact. Hence they are calling for the decision to undergo independent scrutiny. There is a crowdfunder, to raise £10,000, to help pay the legal costs.
(over half way by the 17th June, after two days….!)
Judicial Review of Southampton Airport Expansion
AXO Southampton and 2 others are organising this fundraiser.
We are supporting a legal challenge to the decision by Eastleigh Borough Council to approve the runway extension. This decision, taken by a local planning authority, impacts thousands of people living outside of their boundary who will experience an increase in noise . Further, the expansion in aviation will have far reaching consequences to the climate – affecting the lives of millions of people worldwide .
Eastleigh Borough Council approved the runway extension last month, overruling a vote by its local area committee to reject it. On June 3rd it then gave formal grant of consent despite the fact that the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, had yet to decide whether or not to call in the decision .
We believe strongly that the council’s decision was wrong both in the way it was taken and the arguments to justify it. The airport has greatly overstated the economic benefits of expansion, which will adversely affect the quality of lives of around 46,000 residents, whilst hugely underplaying the environmental impact. We are calling for the decision to undergo independent scrutiny.
Decisions such as these need full scrutiny and that can now only happen by Judicial Review. Opponents of Southampton Airport expansion have instructed a legal team led by Leigh Day and David Wolfe QC to pursue the case, and are launching a public appeal for money to help finance the action.
Whether you live locally to the airport or not, airport expansion will affect you – please support our appeal in any way that you can.
Southampton Airport: Legal challenge over runway extension
Opponents of a scheme to extend an airport runway are mounting a legal challenge.
Eastleigh Borough Council issued formal planning permission on 3 June for Southampton Airport to lengthen its runway by 164m (538ft).
But campaigners Airport Expansion Opposition (AXO) have called the decision “wrong both in the way it was taken and the arguments to justify it”.
The council said it was confident its decision and procedures were sound.
It signed off approval for the runway despite a previous agreement with the government to delay.
It said it subsequently issued planning permission after giving fair notice to ministers and receiving no reply by the end of May.
However, on 19 May the government believed the moratorium was still in force, according to an email seen by the BBC.
AXO said the runway extension should be independently reviewed because increased aircraft noise would be heard outside of Eastleigh.
Spokesman John Lauwerys said: “The airport has greatly overstated the economic benefits of expansion, which will adversely affect the quality of lives of around 46,000 residents, whilst hugely underplaying the environmental impact.
“We are calling for the decision to undergo independent scrutiny.
“We know we have widespread support in the community, and urge those who agree with us to contribute to our fighting fund.”
The airport previously said the extension would facilitate larger planes, generating an extra £240m for the local economy by the year 2037.
It said it had agreed a cap of three million passengers per year and enhanced noise controls.
Operations director Steve Szalay said: “We are extremely disappointed that the challenge from the opposition group may potentially add further delay to not only the project but also the creation of over 250 jobs as part of the construction phase.
“We are resolutely committed to these runway extension plans and the 2,500 jobs it will protect and enable.”
In a statement, the council said its members had examined “extensive evidence” while respecting relevant legislation and planning policy.
BBC South transport correspondent Paul Clifton previously said any legal challenge could take six months or more to settle.
Eastleigh BC confirms its decision to allow Southampton airport 164 metre runway extension
Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC) has confirmed, on 3rd June, its decision to permit Southampton airport’s 164 metre runway extension. The PCU (Planning Casework Unit at the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government) had an informal agreement with Eastleigh to hold off on the decision while the Sec of State, Robert Jenrick, considered the call in request. The PCU said the planning permission would not be issued until the S106 Legal Agreement was completed. On 14 May EBC told the PCU that they had completed the S106 and would grant permission at the end of May unless they heard back to the contrary, from the PCU … which they didn’t. It is now too late for the application to be called in. Extinction Rebellion Southampton said the Secretary of State must be held to account for his failure to act on climate grounds. Work on the runway extension could start later this summer. Campaigners have not confirmed whether they will challenge the final decision.
New NEF report shows the climate impact of regional airport plans has been considerably underestimated
See original image in the Guardian article here
For UK to properly take account of the overall climate impact of UK aviation – it needs to consider the emissions from departing AND arriving flights (it currently ignores arriving flights). And also the non-CO2 impacts on climate. Maximum impact is multiplier of x3 (shown here). The multiplier could be x2.
A report by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) says the climate impact of expansion plans at regional airports in England has been dramatically underestimated and would threaten the UK’s legally binding climate commitments. NEF calculated that proposals to expand 4 airports (Bristol, Leeds Bradford, Southampton and Stansted) will lead to an increase in CO2 emissions up to 8 times higher than the airports previously claimed. This means the alleged economic benefits claimed, from more aviation, were overestimated, as they ignore around £13.4bn worth of climate damage the extra flights could cause. Alex Chapman, the author of the report, said the findings raised concerns about the level of scrutiny the airport expansion proposals had received from government. Alex said: “The secretary of state should step in and conduct an independent review of all four of these proposals and their compatibility with the UK’s climate targets.” The airports all use unproven and undeveloped technologies to achieve future fuel-efficiency savings. Most airports only took account of CO2 of outbound flights, not of inbound flights, and ignored the non-CO2 impacts of flights.
Southampton Airport runway extension plans approved by Eastleigh Council
Eastleigh Borough Council has voted (finally at 2.15am!) to agree to allow Southampton Airport to extend its runway by 164 metres. This will lead to larger planes using the airport, and thus flights to more distant destinations, more passengers and higher carbon emissions. 22 councillors voted in favour of the proposals; 13 councillors voted against the plans and 1 abstained.This followed 19 hours of debate. Opponents have fought against the plans not only due to the carbon emissions, but also the extra noise for surrounding areas, and air pollution. The standard justification for these expansions are local economic benefit, and more jobs – even though the net impact is to encourage more local people to fly abroad on holiday, spending their holiday money there. It is likely that the number of people affected by noise would go from 11,450 in 2020 to 46,050 in 2033, if the expansion happens. Officers hoped that increased home noise insulation would help, but that has no impact if windows are open, or when outdoors. There are claims of “1,000 new jobs” – based on experience at other airports, that is very unlikely indeed. The CCC advice is that there should be no net airport expansion; so if one expands, another should contract. Likely?