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Oct 02, 2019

Heathrow Hub lawyers write to Grant Shapps to demand Section 6 Review of 3rd Runway

The extended runway plan is cheaper, quicker to build, greener and less disruptive than Heathrow Airport Ltd’s proposal which, among other flaws, has no published plan to get the new runway over the M25 so close to the M4 junction.

Under Section 6 of the Planning Act, the Secretary of State may conduct a review of a National Policy Statement if there has been “a significant change in circumstances.”

Heathrow Hub argues that there have been two significant changes since the Government backed the 3rd Runway promoted by Heathrow Airport, which means that the policy statement is now out of date.

First, mounting evidence that the proposal’s costs are rising rapidly from the original estimate of £14bn (now five years out of date), including the Civil Aviation Authority disclosing in its recent consultation that Heathrow Airport’s pre-planning costs alone have tripled to £2.9bn.

Second, the passing into law of a UK net zero carbon emissions target by 2050. As outbound flights from the UK already account for 7.5% of total emissions, it is hard to see how airport expansion on this scale is compatible with meeting the net zero target.

A spokesman for Heathrow Hub said: “As time goes on it becomes clearer that the Government has made a big mistake in backing the 3rd runway. Its ballooning costs will ultimately be borne by consumers via higher passenger fees; and the resulting carbon emissions do not seem remotely compatible with the net zero by 2050 target.

“Instead of fighting for the 3rd Runway in court, Boris Johnson and Grant Shapps should announce an urgent review, just as they have of HS2.”