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"