News World Heathrow expansion clears latest hurdle as High Court rejects legal challenge

Heathrow expansion clears latest hurdle as High Court rejects legal challenge

The expansion of London’s Heathrow Airport inched closer on Wednesday when a High Court judge rejected legal challenges from environmental campaigners opposed to the building of a third runway.

Judge Gary Hickinbottom said he did not accept the arguments made by environmentalists and did not believe the government’s transport minister acted unlawfully when he approved the expansion of Europe’s biggest airport.

“The court held that none of the climate change grounds was arguable,” a summary of the judgment said. The campaigners can apply for permission to appeal the rulings.

Britain has spent almost half a century trying to decide whether or where to build a new runway in the densely populated southeast of England. If finally opened, it will be the first full-length runway built in the London area for 70 years.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s government has argued that an expansion will show Britain is open for business and able to develop stronger trading ties with Asia after it leaves the European Union – although Brexit has been delayed by a parliamentary deadlock over the terms of departure.

But the expansion plan is still opposed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, and a lengthy legal wrangle still lies ahead if the campaigners decide to launch another appeal in the next seven days.

The No. 2 man in the opposition Labour party, finance spokesman John McDonnell, described the court ruling as “bizarre” after he attended the hearing in London.

“This is just the first stage in defeating 3rd runway and protecting our environment,” McDonnell said on Twitter.

The airport, which is jointly owned by Spain’s Ferrovial , the Qatar Investment Authority, China Investment Corporation and other investment companies, is in McDonnell’s constituency.

The expansion plan, endorsed by parliament last year, is forecast to cost around 14 billion pounds ($18 billion).

Under the current plan, the third runway is expected to become operational by 2026.

“We are delighted with today’s ruling which is a further demonstration that the debate on Heathrow expansion has been had and won, not only in parliament, but in the courts also,” a spokesman for Heathrow said.

Environmental groups say the expansion will damage the quality of air and increase noise levels. They had argued the plan was inconsistent with pledges made as part of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

Tim Crosland, a director of one of the groups that made the legal challenge and an adviser to the Extinction Rebellion group that protested across London last month, said the court judgment was disappointing but it was increasingly difficult to see how the third runway could actually go ahead.

“Following the recent Extinction Rebellion protests there is widespread recognition that we are in a state of climate and ecological emergency,” he said.


Top Stories

369 new cases through PCR tests, two deaths announced on Saturday

The Health Ministry announced the death of two persons due to COVID-19. Specifically, a woman 82 with underlying conditions, who had been treated at...

38-year-old arrested for sending videos of minor’s sexual abuse

The Police’s Office for Combating Cybercrime arrested a 38-year-old on the basis of an arrest warrant within the framework of investigating a case of...

Final phase of MEDUSA Multinational Exercise concluded

The final phase of the multinational aeronautical exercise "MEDUSA-10/20", which took place in the sea northwest of the city of Alexandria in Egypt, was...

PM Johnson and EU chief seek to break Brexit impasse

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will speak to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday to try to break an impasse in...

Moscow rolls out Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine to most exposed groups

Moscow began distributing the Sputnik V COVID-19 shot via 70 clinics on Saturday to the most exposed groups, marking Russia's first large-scale vaccination against...


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...