Challenge to Heathrow expansion will be heard - Heathrow Airport News

Airport news for Heathrow on 10/08/2009.

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The case against further expansion at Heathrow airport will be heard publicly later this year following successful arguments by a group comprising environmentalists and concerned local residents.

A High Court judge issued a ruling that an open court hearing must be held due to the high level of public interest in the case.

It is anticipated that the three-day hearing will be held this autumn, and that it could lead to a full judicial review that is being sought by the coalition.

A statement by Geoff Hoon on 15 January, when he was the transport secretary, backing the construction of a third runway at Heathrow airport, is at the heart of the case.

In Hoon’s comments, he said that by 2050 ministers wanted Heathrow’s emission levels to return to 2005 levels. In supporting the airport’s expansion, however, he seemed to distance himself from those comments.

Late last week, Mrs Justice Dobbs commented that some of the claimants' grounds held more weight than others: “There are some areas in which clarification is desirable, including the issue of the defendant's statement to parliament.”

Greenpeace and other environmental groups, such as RSPB and WWF-UK have argued that the decision to allow expansion at Heathrow is not compatible with the government’s policy on climate change.

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