Heathrow Hub, which proposes extending Heathrow’s existing northern runway instead of building a new third one, says “serious errors” were made by the Department for Transport (DfT) which would likely violate the Planning Act.
Earlier this month, transport secretary Chris Grayling formally proposed to ministers plans for a third runway at Heathrow ahead of a vote on the proposal in Parliament.
The plans favoured by the government were drawn up by Heathrow Airport, in lieu of an alternative vision presented by Heathrow Hub.
Heathrow Hub believes the airport’s northern runway should instead be extended away from London and divided in two to create two in-line runways allowing aircraft to land on one and take off from the other simultaneously.
It says the plan would provide the same capacity as a new third runway at a reduced cost and with less impact on local communities and the environment.
The consortium has instructed legal advisors DAC Beachcroft to write to Grayling highlighting errors by the DfT in its Airports National Policy Statement (ANPS), which sets out the government’s preferred expansion path.
Under section 13 of the Planning Act, a judicial review challenging a decision can be lodged in the six weeks after the final parliamentary vote on expansion.
Heathrow Hub, in its submission to parliament, says the ANPS fundamentally under-estimated the capacity benefits of its scheme.
Jock Lowe, Heathrow Hub director, said: “Parliament is due to vote on the NPS in a couple of weeks and MPs should not vote for it. If they approve the NPS in its current form, there will be a judicial challenge soon after.
“The errors the DfT have made in relation to capacity are fundamental and explain why passengers and airlines are being saddled with Heathrow Airport’s expensive, complicated third runway instead of our cheaper, simpler, quieter plan.
“Chris Grayling should be under no illusion that, not for the first time, his department has bungled the details of a critical transport project. He should withdraw or amend the NPS before it is too late.”