Hillingdon Council wins its fight against Heathrow expansion

Thursday 27 February: A coalition comprised of local authorities, including Hillingdon Council, together with Greenpeace, the Mayor of London, Plan B and Friends of the Earth were today successful in defeating Heathrow expansion in the Court of Appeal.

Heathrow expansion rulingThe Divisional Court had previously ordered that the various grounds of legal challenge should be divided up between the parties in order 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 other members of the coalition.

The coalition persuaded the Court of Appeal that the Airports National Policy Statement (ANPS), which had been designated by the government in June 2018, was unlawful on climate change grounds.

The Paris Agreement is an international treaty and its intention is to bring about a stronger commitment to mitigating climate change. On 17 November 2016, the United Kingdom ratified this agreement.

The government conceded that it did not take the Paris Agreement into account in designating the ANPS. The Court of Appeal found that the agreement constituted government policy and the government's failure to take it into account was "legally fatal" to the ANPS.

Councillor Ray Puddifoot, Leader of Hillingdon Council, said: "Hillingdon Council has been fighting against Heathrow expansion for the past 20 years and was part of a coalition that defeated the Labour government's expansion plan 10 years ago and I am delighted that the Court of Appeal has today ruled that the Airports National Policy Statement designated by the government in June 2018 is unlawful.

"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.

"The current government has a firm commitment to dealing positively with climate change issues and to equalising economic growth across the country and given that Heathrow expansion would damage both, I am pleased that the government has decided not to appeal the court's decision. Hopefully the government will, in the near future, announce that Heathrow expansion is off the agenda once and for all."  

Page last updated: 27 Feb 2020