Despite the overwhelming evidence, in August the Development Consent Order (DCO) was granted, by the Secretary of State for Transport, for a second time. Jenny Dawes decided yet again to contest this decision. Lawyers prepared a Statement of Facts and Grounds and an application was submitted on her behalf, and accepted by the court on 29 September 2022 for Permission for Judicial Review of the retaken decision.

The grounds for seeking a JR this time around are “Inadequate consideration of climate change impacts and legally flawed analysis on the need for the airport”. A new ‘Crowdjustice’ website has been set up to raise funds to pay legal fees for this second JR campaign.

At the end of October, the Government Legal Department submitted their Summary Grounds of Defence and a day or so later RSP filed their Summary Grounds of Resistance. In both cases they are arguing in favour of the ‘qualitative’ evidence of ‘need’ submitted by consultant Sally Dixon of Azimuth for RSP. Last week the ministerial briefings finally arrived with the lawyers. Among the attachments was a draft DCO letter arguing in favour of the Azimuth report and effectively denying any impact on climate change.

Within the next two or three weeks, a single judge will decided whether there is an arguable case for JR. If permission is granted, then fundraising via the new ‘Crowdjustice’ website, will need to ramp up to cover what will inevitably be substantial legal fees. The hearing should take place no later than six months after the claim was issued, that is by March 2023.

Richard Oades