Big news. The Court of Appeal – the second highest court in the land – ruled that, as it stands, Government policy on the proposed 3rd runway at Heathrow is illegal. This is because when drawing up the National Policy Statement on Airports, which is the official document used to give Heathrow permission to draw up detailed plans for the new runway, was ruled to be flawed and illegal. The reason for this was because the Government had failed to take into account the 1.5% degrees limit on carbon agreed as part of the Paris Agreement.
The court has invited the Government to review and revise the National Policy Statement in light of the ruling. The Government has said it will consider its future course of action but has said it will not appeal to the highest court, the Supreme Court. Heathrow Airport, though, has the right to seek permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.
The general feeling is that the ruling may have killed off the third runway at the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who has never supported it, may use the verdict as a way of stopping it.