The Government has today released its draft National Policy Statement for the expansion of Heathrow Airport.
This is a draft policy statement which is out for consultation until 25 May. After this, the Government will consider the consultation responses and likely prepare a final National Policy Statement to be presented to Parliament for adoption at the end of 2017, the beginning of 2018.
Once adopted, Heathrow Airport would submit an application for development consent for the new runway. The National Policy Statement will contain the specific policies against which the application for development consent will be considered.
This has been released just days after the High Court, on Monday 30 January, struck out the application for judicial review brought by surrounding local authorities and Greenpeace in respect of the Government’s decision to select Heathrow expansion as its preferred choice for inclusion in its Draft National Policy Statement. The application was struck out on a technicality - that the courts only have a jurisdiction to hear a challenge against a National Policy Statement once it has been adopted and published.
In light of this, it seems that there will be another legal challenge down the line…