The Divisional Court today begins the rolled-up hearing of five judicial review claims seeking to challenge the Airports National Policy Statement: new runway capacity and infrastructure at airports in the south-east of England (“the Airports NPS”). The Airports NPS was designated on 26 June 2018.

The five claims are brought by:

  1. CO/2760/2018 – Neil Spurrier
  2. CO/3071/2018 – Heathrow Hub Limited and Runway Innovations Limited
  3. CO/3089/2018 – The London Boroughs of Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Richmond-Upon-Thames; Hammersmith & Fulham; the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead; the Mayor of London and Greenpeace Limited
  4. CO/3147/2018 – Friends of the Earth
  5. CO/3149/2018 – Plan B Earth

A sixth judicial review was earlier refused permission to apply for judicial review. Claims 1, 3, 4 and 5 are being heard together by Hickinbottom LJ and Holgate J, with claim 2 being heard immediately afterwards by Hickinbottom LJ, Holgate and Marcus Smith JJ. In total, the hearing of all five claims will last two weeks. It is one of the biggest judicial review claims ever heard in the High Court. The matters to be determined by the Court include disputes relating to surface access, air quality, strategic environmental assessment, the Habitats Directive, bias and pre-determination, climate change, legitimate expectation, breach of parliamentary privilege and competition law.

For press coverage can be found at the following links – Financial Times; City AM.

James Maurici QCDavid BlundellRichard MoulesAndrew Byass and Heather Sargent are acting for the Department of Transport on all the claims instructed by the Government Legal Department.

Andrew Parkinson is junior counsel for Friends of the Earth instructed by Leigh Day & Co.

Richard Turney is junior counsel for Heathrow Airport Limited instructed by Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner.

Charles Banner QC and Yaaser Vanderman are appearing for Arora Holdings Limited instructed by CMS.

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