Friday, 26 March 2010

Heathrow third runway dead as dodo

Campaigners against the third runway for Heathrow airport have been celebrating a landmark legal judgement which appears to have eliminated any possibility of the airport getting the go-ahead to expand its levels of traffic, noise and pollution. Lord Justice Carnwath has ruled effectively that the Government's plans are at odds with the UK's climate change policy and has sent the whole lot back to the drawing board.

Those of us who live under the flight path at the moment I am sure will be breathing a sigh of relief.

Huge credit goes to the Council for having campaigned against this as part of the 2M group, and to our MP Andy Slaughter who actually resigned from the Government over the issue so he could campaign against it. They should all be really proud of overturning a decison that would have blighted the Bush.

Cllr Greg Smith, for our Council said:

"This is a spectacular victory for our residents. The Government had been trying to close down debate on the true economic impact of a third runway by presenting it as a done deal. Today’s ruling has blown that position apart. The Government just did not want to have to take on board the real consequences of new climate change laws. The judge made it clear the figures just did not add up.”

Andy Slaughter reacted to the announcement by saying:

"I asked the then Transport secretary, Geoff Hoon, to conduct a further review of aviation policy before making the decision on Heathrow but he refused.  The Aviation White Paper which purports to justify Heathrow expansion was published seven years ago.  That was before climate change became a central plank of Government policy and before the seriousness of global warming was widely accepted.

"The high Court has explicitly said that current aviation policy does not address the requirements of the Climate Change Act 2008 and must do so.  I believe it will be impossible to square the two and still justify the Third Runway.  The Government should now tell BAA to put its plans on hold while a new White paper is commissioned"


  1. Chris, I think you are being a bit over optimistic here, the consultation can be re run and powerful forces in the shape of BAA and the airlines will be lobbying hard, whoever wins the election. Labour are out of step on this at the moment (except for Andy) Will the tories continue their line if elected to Govt? Call me a sceptic!

  2. Cameron when he visited H&F stated uncategorically "No 3rd runway"..... but I am just as sceptical, when you have the likes of Digby Jones banging on that we need it for the "economy", but no- one seems to consider the impact of all these plans and changes, that get implimented, on the folk that dwell. these folk will in the end push off! and then what will remain in terms of the structure of places?

  3. I think what might be the deciding factor is that investors will decide they can't wait for such a long time to get the plans back off the ground. (bad pun) So they'll have to start taking seriously the alternatives - Stansted & Gatwick being the obvious ones but I hope fast rail travel is also the main beneficiary too.