Heathrow Airport expansion: Supreme Court Appeal hearing…

Heathrow Airport expansion: Supreme Court Appeal hearing on the ANPS. Briefing by Friends of the Earth
2020-10-08 11:41:00
The hearing at the Supreme Court of the appeal by Heathrow against the judgement of the Appeal Court, in February took place on 7th and 8th October.  The case is whether the Airports NPS (ANPS) is illegal, because it did not properly consider carbon emissions and the UK’s commitments under the Paris Agreement. Friends of the Earth have explained their arguments, against those of Heathrow. (It is complicated legal stuff …) There is no onward appeal from the Supreme Court.  If any one of the grounds that won in the Court of Appeal remains, and the Supreme Court agrees that the Order made by the Appeal Court should still stand, then the ANPS will remain of no legal effect [ie. not valid or legal] until reviewed. [So the runway cannot go ahead]. The Secretary of State (SoS) for Transport must then consider if the government wish to leave it at that, or review the ANPS policy framework, to amend it. If the SoS does that, s/he will probably need to make changes that materially alter what the ANPS says. Such changes will need to be approved by Parliament following consultation, before the new ANPS can come into force. And if the FoE Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) challenge wins, there would need to be a new SEA and a new public consultation. .Tweet     Heathrow Airport expansion – Supreme Court Appeal briefing, by Friends of the Earth Briefing prepared by Will Rundle, Head of Legal  – and Katie de Kauwe, Lawyer at Friends of the Earth 5 Oct 2020    (Friends of the Earth briefing) Introduction The historic decision of the Court of Appeal on 27 February 2020 means that the expansion of Heathrow Airport has been halted. Friends of the Earth brought its case against the building of a third runway to protect the climate. Heathrow Airport is already one of the largest emitters of carbon dioxide in the UK. The climate impacts of the airport and a new runway would have been extremely dangerous for people and the planet. This briefing: summarises the Court of Appeal result gives an update on the Supreme Court stage describes the potential outcomes. “The legal issues are of the highest importance. The infrastructure project under consideration is one of the largest. Both the development itself and its effects will last well into the second half of this century. The issue of climate change is a matter of profound national and international importance of great concern to the public – and, indeed, to the Government of the United Kingdom and many other national governments, as is demonstrated by their commitment to the Paris Agreement.” (Court of Appeal judgment, para. 277) The Judicial Review and Court of Appeal judgment against Heathrow Airport expansion The Airports National Policy Statement (ANPS) is the policy framework, created under the Planning Act 2008 by the Secretary of State for Transport to allow expansion at Heathrow Airport. It directs how any development consent application should be decided. Section 10 of the Planning Act requires the Secretary of State to contribute to sustainable development with particular regard to mitigating climate change. Friends of the Earth argued the Secretary of State failed to consider: the Paris Agreement on climate change, the non-CO2 warming impacts of aviation, and the climate impacts of the operation of the airport beyond 2050. Friends of the Earth argued that the ANPS and decision were unlawful on each count, because they each breached section 10 of the Planning Act 2008, and also the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive (regarding the Paris Agreement only). A strategic environmental assessment is a key tool in assessing environmental impact and achieving sustainable development. The purpose in law is to achieve a high level of environmental protection with a view to promoting sus

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