A High Court judge has now rejected a judicial review challenge brought by four local authorities over the Transport Secretary’s decision to back a third runway at Heathrow Airport. The Secretary of State, Chris Grayling, took the decision on 25 October 2016 under the Planning Act 2008, to include the option in a draft National Policy Statement.
Together with Greenpeace and a local resident, the councils - Hillingdon, Richmond, Windsor & Maidenhead and Wandsworth - argued that the proposal 'involved a flawed approach to air quality' and that the decision 'was contrary to their legitimate expectations' because the 'government made repeated promises over a number of years that there would be no third runway' at Heathrow.
The claimants were supported by Transport for London and the Mayor of London, who agreed with them in their challenge regarding air quality.
The Transport Secretary contended that there was an insuperable obstacle to the claim proceeding because under the 2008 Act the court had no jurisdiction at present to hear it. He therefore sought an order under CPR r.3.4(2)(a) striking out the claimants' claim form and grounds.
The Secretary of State was supported in the application by the second interested party, Heathrow Airport Holdings.
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