Following the High Court’s decision on 1 May 2019 to dismiss the legal challenge brought by four London councils and others, expert legal opinion has been sought as to whether there are any grounds to appeal this decision.
There is no automatic right of appeal and permission to appeal is needed, in the first instance, from the court which heard the original legal challenge.
Therefore, an application for permission to appeal is being made to the Court today on behalf of Richmond Council and other local authorities involved in the original legal challenge - it will be supported by Greenpeace and the Mayor of London.
The application for permission to appeal is based on two specific grounds which are both have their origin in European Law. The first ground relates to the Habitats Directive which is designed to preserve protected species and the second concerns the relationship of the Airports National Policy Statement to the councils’ Local Plans also the noise assessment and metric used by the government, both of which fall under the umbrella of the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive.
In considering whether to grant permission to appeal, the Court will have to determine whether there is a realistic prospect of an appeal succeeding.
If the Court refuses the application, there is a right to make a further application for permission to appeal directly to the Court of Appeal which will also have to consider whether an appeal has a realistic prospect of succeeding.
Cllr Gareth Roberts, Richmond Council Leader, said:
“Richmond Council has battled any Heathrow expansion for years. And the case against a bigger airport is still the same today.
“We are clear. A bigger Heathrow will lead to more cars. It will lead to more air pollution. An expanded airport will bring more polluting ‘filth’ from the skies, onto our heads and that of our children, damaging our health.
“Last May we promised our residents that we will fight this expansion in every way possible. We will continue to stand up for all local people and challenge this decision.”
— from a Richmond Council press release - 9 May 2019