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Heathrow legal challengers set for pre-trial hearing

heathrow picture

The pre-trial hearing for legal challengers against Heathrow expansion will take place today at the High Court.

Procedural issues, such as the timetabling for submissions at the full hearing, are set to be decided by High Court Judge Justice Holgate.

Friends of the Earth are also set to use the pre-trial to request that the government reveal the extent to which it incorporated and assessed the implications of the Paris Agreement when it designated its National Policy Statement on airports.

The opening day of the full hearing is set to be on March 11, with the hearing expected to last 10 days.

The legal challenges were mounted after the House of Commons voted in favour of building the runway at the airport, by 415 votes to 119, in June.

Legal challengers of the government’s plans include Friends of the Earth, the London boroughs of Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Richmond, Hammersmith & Fulham, and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, which are being backed by London mayor Sadiq Khan and Greenpeace.

Heathrow Hub is also challenging the government. It has proposed a plan for Heathrow expansion that does not involve building a third runway.

Friends of the Earth climate change campaigner Laura MacKenzie said: “The government should never have entertained the idea of a climate-wrecking third runway, with Heathrow already the UK’s single biggest source of emissions.

“Support for airport expansion ignores the severity of the climate crisis and the harm that it is already inflicting on people and nature around the world including right here in the UK.”

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