Wandsworth Celebrates Legal Costs Victory for Runway Challenge

High Court ordered the Government to pay their own costs plus 60% of the claimants costs

Lord Justice Carnwath said the claimants, a coalition of environmental groups and local councils including Wandsworth, had achieved a "substantial success" in the case and that an undertaking given by the Transport Secretary Lord Adonis was a "major concession."

The undertaking compels the government to reconsider all relevant policy issues regarding expansion at Heathrow before any future applications can be considered.

This would involve reviewing the climate change implications of Heathrow expansion, the economic case for a third runway, and the issue of how additional passengers would get to a bigger airport.

The undertaking ensures that the Government's 2003 Air Transport White Paper, which underpins airport expansion plans across the UK, cannot simply be cut and pasted into the Aviation National Policy Statement due in 2011.

This formalises one of the Judge's key findings: that the White Paper is inconsistent with the Climate Change Act 2008 and that it was "untenable in law and common sense" for the Government to treat the issue of Heathrow expansion as settled by a policy statement from seven years ago.

As a result ministers will now have to go back to the drawing board and take into account the implications of the Climate Change Act 2008 when drawing up new aviation policy.

April 20, 2010