Wandsworth delighted by Heathrow judgement

Published: Thursday, February 27, 2020

Last year Wandsworth Council joined forces with four local councils, the Mayor of London and Greenpeace, to legally challenge the Government’s decision to favour a proposal for a new north-west runway at Heathrow.  

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We were joined by others who supported the challenge with their own claims for Judicial Review

We argued strongly that the government’s decision to adopt its Airports National Policy Statement (ANPS) was unlawful on several key grounds including climate change, noise and air quality.

In May 2019 the Divisional Court refused all the applications for judicial review. However, the Council and its co-claimants applied to the Court of Appeal to overturn this judgment, which was heard in October last year.

Today the Judges handed-down their judgment. In their ruling they state that the Government failed to take into account its own climate change obligations under the Paris Agreement which is “legally fatal to the ANPS”.

The Court has sent a clear message to the Government that it needs to rethink its airports strategy. This is a momentous victory for Wandsworth’s residents and over a million Londoners.

Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, said:

“Today’s judgment is a vindication of what has been a prolonged fight by this council on behalf of our residents.  For two decades when the third runway at Heathrow was first suggested Wandsworth has opposed it because we knew it would blight the quality of life for our residents.

“In putting forward the case for a third runway, successive governments have failed to consider the full impact such an expansion would have on the environment, noise levels, and residents' health and well-being. 

“I'm absolutely delighted by today’s judgement which comes at a time when this council has declared a Climate Change Emergency and is working hard to deliver the vision to become the greenest inner London borough and carbon neutral by 2030.

“The Government must now go back and revisit its airports policy and we all hope that this is the last time we hear of a third runway at Heathrow.” 

He added: “I want to thank the very many residents of this borough who have supported us in our campaign, as well as our allies from beyond this borough. Without you we would not have managed this.”