Lord Justice Carnwath today gave judgment in a challenge by a coalition of local authorities and environmental groups, supported by Transport for London, to the Government's decision to confirm policy support for a third runway at Heathrow. The Government initially argued that the decision would set the policy context for any planning application and that the planning authorities would not be expected to go behind the policy decision. The judge rejected that view as untenable, holding that the principle of expansion and the economic case for it would have to be reconsidered at the planning stage, particularly in light of its impact on climate change. The judge held that the criticisms by the claimants and by Transport for London of the treatment of surface access issues were justified and that the only rational reading of the decision was that it decided nothing of any significance about surface access matters. He noted that the decision had made no attempt to address the Mayor's objections to the proposal and that the Government had no convincing answer to the complaint that the Government had made a fundamental mistake about the capacity of the Piccadilly Line to accommodate extra demand from a third runway. Submissions were invited on relief.
The judgment is here.
The BBC news story is here.
Martin Chamberlain appeared for Transport for London