Press Release: January 14 2014
High Court Hearing to Quash Lydd Airport Decision Imminent
Lydd Airport Action Group’s
(LAAG’s) High Court Appeal to quash the government’s decision to
grant Lydd Airport permission to extend its runway and build a new
terminal to support 500,000 passengers per annum will be heard on
Thursday January 23rd
and Friday January 24th,
2014. The RSPB is also appealing separately and their hearing will be
held on the previous two days.
The decision to approve the
development was made on April 10th,
2013 by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
and the Secretary of State for Transport.
The Hearing will be at the Royal Courts of Justice and is open to the public.
LAAG is represented by Matthew Horton QC
Notes to editors:
Lydd Airport is owned by Sheikh
Fahad al-Athel, a Saudi businessman.
Lydd Airport submitted a planning
application in December 2006 to both extend the runway at Lydd by
444metres and build a new terminal to accommodate up to 500,000
passengers per annum (ppa.). This is Phase 1 of a longer term plan
to increases passenger numbers to 2mpppa.
The airport was unlawfully granted
planning permission by Shepway District Council on March 3, 2010.
Following over 14,000
letters in protest, the Secretary of State called in the decision
for review by a Public Inquiry in June 2010. The public inquiry was
conducted from February 15th,
2011 to September 16th,
2011. LAAG’s case centred heavily on the nuclear safety issue. Our
evidence shows that the probability of an aircraft accident at the
Dungeness Nuclear complex resulting from airport expansion would be
unacceptably high and that the nuclear regulator’s decision not
to oppose Lydd Airport’s development was flawed.
During 2012 four additional
consultations took place to review new evidence on nuclear safety.
This added to the body of material already available which showed:
the model on which the ONR based its decision is not fit for
purpose, particularly when applied to the complex operating
environment at Lydd, there are major errors in the application of
this model to the Lydd Airport/Dungeness situation and that the ONR
has failed to be accountable in the face of the challenge to the
basis of its regulatory decision.
A formal complaint to the European
Commission over the nuclear safety aspects of this planning
application has resulted in the European Commission investigating
the UK Government under the EU Pilot Mechanism for possible
infringements of the Nuclear Safety Directive. The investigation is
LAAG is an action group formed in 2004 to oppose the large scale development of Lydd airport. LAAG has ~3000 members.