A COALITION comprising local authorities, including Hillingdon Council, together with Greenpeace, the Mayor of London, Plan B and Friends of the Earth were today (27) successful in defeating Heathrow expansion in the Court of Appeal.

The Divisional Court had previously ordered that the grounds of legal challenge should be divided up between the parties to streamline the process and save court time.

It was decided that Plan B and Friends of the Earth should lead on climate change, with the full support of the coalition.

They persuaded the Court of Appeal that the Airports National Policy Statement (ANPS), designated by the Government in June 2018, was unlawful on climate change grounds.

In November 2016, the UK ratified the Paris Agreement, which called for a stronger commitment to mitigating climate change.

The Government conceded it did not take it into account in designating the ANPS, which the court ruled "legally fatal."

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Cllr Ray Puddifoot, leader of Hillingdon Council, said: "Our residents have had to live for far too long with the possibility of homes and communities being destroyed and the detrimental consequences to their health and the environment, caused by the proposed expansion.

“I am pleased the Government has decided not to appeal the court's decision. Hopefully, it will, in the near future, announce that Heathrow expansion is off the agenda once and for all.”  

Paul McGuinness, Chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, said: “Clearly the courts have found an irredeemably large hole in the Government’s airports national policy statement which will now have to be withdrawn.”

Geraldine Nicholson, of campaign group Stop Heathrow Expansion, said: “This is the final nail in the coffin for Heathrow expansion, a culmination of nearly two decades of campaigning to save our area.

John Stewart, chair of HACAN, the residents’ organisation which has been campaigning against a third runway since 2003, said, “It does look as if this is the end of the road for a third runway. 

"It is hard to see a Government led by Boris Johnson, who has always been against the runway, appealing against this decision.  In fact, it probably gives the Prime Minister the opportunity he was looking for to drop the runway.”

A Heathrow spokesperson said: Expanding Heathrow, Britain’s biggest port and only hub, is essential to achieving the Prime Minister’s vision of Global Britain.  We will get it done the right way, without jeopardising the planet’s future. Let’s get Heathrow done.”