THE High Court this morning ruled against objectors in their bid to stop a third runway at Heathrow.

Craig Bennett, chief executive of Friends of the Earth, said: “Expanding Heathrow is wrong on every level and we can’t let it go.

"I could not sleep at night if Friends of the Earth did not challenge this decision. We are going to appeal because we believe the Court got it wrong."  

John Stewart, chair of HACAN, which represents residents impacted by Heathrow, said: "[It] removes a significant hurdle in Heathrow's bid to get a third runway, but campaigners have vowed they will continue their fight to stop expansion."

Heathrow is currently drawing up plans to consult in June on its detailed proposals for a third runway.

It hopes to put its final plans to a public inquiry in 2020. 

If Heathrow finally gets the all-clear, it aims to open the new runway in 2025/26.

A Heathrow spokesperson said:  “Today’s ruling is a further demonstration that the debate on Heathrow expansion has been had and won, not only in Parliament, but in the courts also.

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“We are getting on with delivering the once-in-a-generation project that will connect Britain to global growth, providing thousands of new jobs and an economic boost for this country and its future generations.”

Paul McGuinness, chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, said: “The judges were constrained by the legislation, stating that all these contentious matters need to be considered at the planning stage.”

Back Heathrow, the group which supports a new runway welcomed the ruling.

Executive director Parmjit Dhanda said: “No new runways have been built in London or the south-east since the Second World War.

“This decision backs the views of more than 100,000 local residents, the TUC and the CBI. The country has waited long enough.”

John McDonnell, MP for Hayes & Harlington, who was at the High Court for the judgment, said: “The Government has got off the hook because it is not willing to recognise the Paris Agreement in law.”

Jackie Clark, chair of Stop Heathrow Expansion, the campaign group for people whose homes and businesses would be demolished to make way for a third runway, said: “Heathrow expansion is no more likely today than it was yesterday.

“As a local, I’ve sat on the edge of my chair awaiting the end to this long saga but it goes on and on. It makes it hard to plan a life with my family and run my small business.”