The Administrative Court (Holgate J.) is today holding a one-day preliminary hearing in relation to five claims for judicial review of the Secretary of State for Transport’s adoption of the Airports National Policy Statement which contains the Government’s policy framework for the expansion of Heathrow Airport, including support for the North West Runway scheme.

The Claimants include five local authorities, the Mayor of London, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Plan B Earth and Heathrow Hub Limited (the promoter of an alternative proposal for Heathrow expansion known as the Extended North Runway scheme). The grounds of claim include alleged breaches of EU law relating to air quality, alleged breach of competition law and several alleged breaches of domestic public law.

The preliminary hearing is to consider the applications for permission to apply for judicial review, whether the Speaker of the House of Commons should be joined in light of the contested reliance by some of the claimants on statements made in Parliament, and the procedural handling of the claims going forward.

Tetyana Nesterchuk (instructed by CMS) appears for Arora Holdings Limited (‘AHL’), who are an Interested Party in all the claims. AHL is part of the Arora Group whose companies own a substantial portion of the land within the North West Runway Scheme and who in reliance on the National Policy Statement are promoting the ‘Western Hub’ proposal for a new terminal at Heathrow Airport to operate in competition with Heathrow Airport Limited’s terminals. See