Final challenges to Heathrow’s third runway expansion are being heard in the last of five Judiciary Reviews at the Royal Courts of Justice today, writes Will Barbieri.

All reviews have been heard over the last ten days in a rolled-up hearing about the government’s Airport National Policy Statement (ANPS), which makes the economic and business case for expansion.

They were brought against Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling, including one brought forward by a coalition of Wandsworth, Richmond, Hillingdon, Windsor & Maidenhead, and Hammersmith & Fulham councils, along with London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Greenpeace.

Executive director of Greenpeace UK, John Sauven, said: “Heathrow’s expanding noise, air and carbon pollution are all examples of how the enormous environmental costs of some industrial development can impact the many for the benefit of the few.

“So long as those external environmental costs are not properly accounted for, the whole process can look like progress. But it’s like people claiming to be diamond miners by smashing up the Crown Jewels.”

Other reviews were presented by environmental activists Friends of the Earth and Plan B, Teddington Action Group member Neil Spurrier and rival expansion promoter Heathrow Hub Ltd, whose proposal for the extension of an existing runway is supposed to negate the need for a third runway.

Complaints that the ANPS is rendered unlawful by evidence that Mr Grayling’s mind was made up in advance about the third runway expansion are among those being considered in the hearing.

Mr Sauven added: "All the claimants believed that the Government had ignored environmental law in coming to the decision to give Heathrow third runway the go-ahead.  

“Now the courts will decide. 

“But whatever they decide a constant awareness of the bigger picture is the only thing that can save us from the climate emergency we have blundered into.” 

Other complaints cited by Greenpeace’s press office include the expansion’s impact on traffic and transport, a failure to alert the affected population about increased noise and the inconsiderate destruction of homes and communities.