The High Court (Dove J.) is today commencing a 3 day hearing of a claim for judicial review by representatives of the organisation Stop Stansted Expansion, challenging the decision by the Secretary of State for Transport not to treat development proposals by Stansted Airport Ltd, comprising 2 new taxiway links and 9 additional aircraft stands at London Stansted Airport together with an increase in the permitted passenger throughput in the airport from 35 million to 43 million passengers per annum, as a nationally significant infrastructure project (‘NSIP’) under the Planning Act 2008. The effect of the challenged decision is that the proposed development is to be determined under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 by the local planning authority, Uttlesford District Council.
The issues in the claim include the proper interpretation of s.23 of the 2008 Act, concerning the kinds of airport related development that automatically constitute an NSIP, and of s.35 of the 2008 Act, pursuant to which the Secretary of State has discretion to issue a direction that a project should be treated as an NSIP even if it does not automatically constitute one under s.23.
Charles Banner QC is appearing for the Defendant, the Secretary of State for Transport.