Lawyers acting for a consortium of local authorities and others have issued judicial review proceedings in the High Court against the Secretary of State for Transport, on the basis that he has unlawfully designated the Airports National Policy Statement [NPS] under the Planning Act 2008.
The proceedings challenging the expansion of Heathrow airport have been brought by the London Boroughs of Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Richmond, Hammersmith and Fulham, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Greenpeace and the Mayor of London.
The grounds of challenge are on air quality, inadequate environmental assessment, climate change, surface access, breach of the habitats directive and a flawed consultation process.
Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, said:
“As local authorities we have a primary duty to protect the health of our residents. We have told ministers repeatedly that a third runway is undeliverable on air quality grounds.
“It would be reckless for ministers to blindly press ahead with expansion when the evidence plainly shows it will make air quality worse.
“We are not prepared to stand back and allow this to happen. We beat this in 2010 and believe that this new proposal has the same weaknesses and failings.”