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
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
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
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
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
Carol Barbone, Campaign Director, Stop Stansted Expansion: 0777 552 3091 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Stop Stansted Expansion Campaign Office 01279 870558 and email@example.com
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