28 February 2020
The decision was made on the grounds that it doesn’t fit with the UK’s climate policy. It is also a win for waterways in the area that would have been severely impacted.
IWA West London Branch campaigned against the third runway, because it would cause significant harm to the natural environment of local canals and rivers. The runway would have impacted habitats and heritage, as well as reducing access to the waterways and their benefits for local people.
Some 13 miles of the Grand Union Canal and the Slough Arm would have been affected by the permanent loss of 900 acres of land in the southern part of the Colne Valley Regional Park. In addition, a number of rivers would have been diverted under the new runway. The diversion would have risked spillages and pollution and threatened the ecology of the Thames.
However, the decision is probably not the end of the story. Although the Government do not intend to challenge the Court of Appeal ruling, Heathrow Airport Ltd has issued a statement confirming that an appeal will be made to the Supreme Court. They will argue that the proposed expansion will achieve net zero emissions by 2050 in line with the Paris Accord. Heathrow claim that this issue is ‘eminently fixable’.