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High Court Begins to Hear Challenge to the Grant of Permission for the Stansted G1 Proposals

DATE: 24 Feb 2009

Sir Thayne Forbes today began hearing a s.288 challenge against the decision of the Secretaries of State for Communities and Local Government and Transport to grant planning permission for the removal of one condition (Condition MPPA1) and the variation of a second condition (Condition ATM1) attached to a planning permission dated relating to the development and use of Stansted Airport. The effect of which would be to allow BAA to operate the existing runway at Stansted to an annual passenger throughput not exceeding 35 million passengers and air transport movements not exceeding 264,000 overall in any period of 12 calendar months.

The decision of the Secretaries of State to grant permission was made following a favourable recommendation by an Inspector who conducted a public inquiry into the proposal.

The claim alleges that the reasoning of the Secretaries of State demonstrates that they made their decision without taking proper account of environmental and economic considerations which were material to their determination of the planning appeal. The Claimants contend that, in so doing, the Secretaries of State failed in their statutory duties to have regard to all material considerations. The Claimants identify 3 specific environmental and economic effects which they allege the Secretaries of State failed properly to take into account in reaching their decision -(i) the negative impact of the G1 project on the UK's balance of trade;(ii) the noise impacts of the G1 project; and(iii) the impact on the environment of the aviation emissions which would be generated by the operation of Stansted in accordance with the G1 project.

The hearing is expected to last most of the week.

Tim Mould QC and James Maurici are appearing for the Secretaries of State.

For media coverage of these challenges, please click here.