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Heathrow Third Runway Expansion – Getting Ready

The decision by the Government this week sends a strong message of support for the construction of a third runway at Heathrow – this announcement has paved the way for the project to move forward as well as to instigate the legal challenges to the decision.

There have been announcements from a number of organisations and local authorities who will judicially review this decision and its legality. In the meanwhile the Chief Executive of Heathrow has made clear the company’s intentions to press ahead with the planning process.

Whilst the judicial review will allow the courts to scrutinise the decision, its basis and impacts depending on the grounds upon which any such judicial review is made, experience has taught us, through our role in the High Speed 2 project, that it is worth expending an equal amount of time on preparing for engagement in the planning process, seeking necessary changes to the scheme that are thought to be paramount and preparing to substantiate the very real concerns about the potential impacts of the scheme.

It is easy to get caught up in the legal proceedings in anticipation of having the decision quashed, but it is equally important that the right experts are brought on board to prepare the evidence to engage in the Development Consent Order that will be commenced by the Secretary of State. This is paramount in this location due to the number of other infrastructure projects also taking place in the locality and their impacts on local businesses and communities.

There will be the need for advising on challenges to the decision and in particular in decisions relating to national infrastructure. There will also be a need by businesses who wish to partake in this development to navigate their way through the procurement process which can be challenging for SMEs.

Local communities potentially face a number of issues from the scheme itself like construction impacts, noise, pollution, environmental impacts on their locality and landscape and on their properties. A coordinated approach to identifying these impacts and being clear on what are the measures being sought to address these are will be critical in achieving the appropriate course of action. Whether this is achieved through a legal challenge, consultation responses, meeting with the developer or negotiating, it will be fundamental to how the expansion is carried out.

There will equally be those who see this as an opportunity to secure better for their locality, for their businesses and for their communities and will want to explore these opportunities and how to secure the best that they can.

Our team is experienced in national infrastructure projects having been involved in the High Speed 2 legal challenges, the parliamentary process and continued representation of local authorities and communities on securing benefits to lessen the impacts on them individually and collectively.

We can advise on judicial review, responding to the Heathrow Consultation 2 on application for development consent and the preliminary Environmental Information as well as presenting evidence at the DCO inquiry process and on compensation issues on property and businesses.

We can also advise on contracts, procurement and compensation issues to local businesses and communities and negotiating with the developer to secure these.

Find out more about our planning team here or if you’d like to speak to one of them now please call 0330 058 4011 or contact them using the form below.