Home Page Link Thaxted - under the present flightpath and threatened with quadrupled activity Takeley's 12th century parish church, close to proposed second runway Harcamlow Way, Bamber's Green - much of the long distance path and village would disappear under Runway 2 Clavering - typical of the Uttlesford villages threatened by urbanisation
Campaigning against proposals to expand Stansted Airport

image Press Release - 11 June 2004

HIGH COURT GIVES GO AHEAD FOR AIRPORTS CHALLENGE

Opponents of the Government's airport expansion proposals which include building a new runway at Stansted Airport were given permission today (Friday 11 June) for a full Judicial Review hearing to challenge the Government plans.

The action, mounted by the Stop Stansted Expansion campaign in conjunction with community groups from Luton (LADACAN) and Heathrow (HACAN) and two London boroughs (Hillingdon and Wandsworth), is due to be heard alongside a separate but related claim by a consortium of five Hertfordshire and Essex local authorities.

The High Court will hear evidence that the Air Transport White Paper published in December was fundamentally flawed and the conclusions it reached were irrational and inconsistent with the Government's own policies and with the consultation ground rules.

Commenting on the news that the claim is to be allowed to proceed, Stop Stansted Expansion Campaign Director Carol Barbone said:  "We are delighted that the High Court has agreed with us that the Government has a case to answer in relation to the many flaws and inconsistencies in the Air Transport White Paper."

She continued:  "We look forward to the full Judicial Review hearing when we will have an opportunity to take the Government to task in the High Court. We are determined to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Court that no Government should be allowed to publish a White Paper which disregards the results of its own consultation and flouts the evidence."

No date has yet been set for the Judicial Review.

If successful, it will be the second time that Stop Stansted Expansion has thwarted the Government's airport expansion plans.  In November 2002 the group won a High Court ruling forcing the Government to recommence its consultation on the White Paper resulting in an eight month delay in the publication of the White Paper.

If the Judicial Review succeeds, the Government would be forced to re-examine its aviation policy, and begin the whole consultation process all over again.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The Stop Stansted Expansion claim, led by solicitor Richard Buxton, concentrates on four key areas.  With respect to Stansted, the argument centres on the fact that White Paper ignores the absence of a commercial justification for a second Stansted runway, contrary to the Government's own ground rules for the consultation.

The consultation documents made it clear that commercial viability was a "hurdle which must be passed for new and existing airport sites."  BAA advised the Government that a second Stansted runway would only be commercially viable if it could be cross-subsidised by Heathrow and Gatwick revenues but the regulator (the Civil Aviation Authority) ruled against the option of cross-subsidisation by BAA during the consultation process. Despite this clear impasse, the Government has stated in the White Paper that a second Stansted runway should be built by 2011 or 2012.

Further grounds are that:

1.      The consultation document did not make clear that the ending of runway alternation at Heathrow could be a short-term alternative to a third runway

2.      The consultation document failed to give people the opportunity to comment on the proposal, favoured in the White Paper, for an extended runway at Luton

3.      The Government failed to provide the public with information about alternative Thames Estuary airport proposals and failed to give proper consideration to those options

ENDS

Further Information/Comment:

Carol Barbone, Campaign Director, Stop Stansted Expansion:  0777 552 3091 or cbarbone@mxc.co.uk
Stop Stansted Expansion Campaign Office 01279 870558 and info@stopstanstedexpansion.com


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