Heathrow court victory over third runway – but fight goes on

Heathrow has won a crucial victory in its fight to build a third runway.

This morning’s ruling by the Supreme Court overturns the Friends of the Earth’s court victory earlier this year.

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “Demand for aviation will recover from Covid, and the additional capacity at an expanded Heathrow will allow Britain as a sovereign nation to compete for trade and win against our rivals in France and Germany.

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“Heathrow has already committed to net zero and this ruling recognises the robust planning process that will require us to prove expansion is compliant with the UK’s climate change obligations.”

The Supreme Court’s decision basically means that it accepts Government policy in supporting expansion is lawful – while Friends of the Earth had claimed it breached the Paris climate change agreement.

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The decision will please Slough Council which supports expansion but appal the Royal Borough which teamed with neighbouring authorities to oppose it.

Will Rundle, head of legal at Friends of the Earth, said: “This judgment is no ‘green light’ for expansion.

“It makes clear that full climate considerations remain to be addressed and resolved at the planning stage. Heathrow expansion remains very far from certain and we now look forward to stopping the third runway in the planning arena.

“With ever stronger climate policy commitments that Heathrow must meet, it remains unlikely it will ever get planning permission for the third runway. Friends of the Earth will fight it all the way.”

Royal Borough Observer | News WIndsor