Southampton Airport expansion: Campaigners GOESA launch new bid to get legal block on runway plan

OPPONENTS of plans to expand Southampton Airport’s runway have appealed against the High Court's decision to refuse a judicial review, it has been confirmed – and they say they have ‘a good case’.

Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 11:20 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 11:21 am
Southampton Airport. Pic AGS Airports

Members of Group Opposed to the Expansion of Southampton Airport Ltd (GOESA) have renewed calls for a judicial review over the proposals to extend the runway by 164m.

Last week the High Court refused the group's initial request for a judicial review.

But opponents were given seven days to appeal the High Court's decision.

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GOESA has now confirmed that it will continue to pursue its case.

A spokesperson for GOESA said: ‘We are asking for the judicial review to go-ahead. Our request has gone in. We think we have a strong case and we want it to be heard independently. The court will have to decide whether to allow the judicial review.’

It is understood that a hearing could be held in the coming weeks.

The controversial plans to extend the runway were approved by Eastleigh Borough Council in April this year after days of debate.

But campaigners called for the decision to undergo ‘independent scrutiny’.

A spokesman for Southampton Airport said: ‘GOESA has decided to appeal the High Court’s judgement. Southampton Airport is disappointed by this decision, as it will further delay the much-needed economic benefits and employment opportunities that our runway plans will deliver.’

But the spokesman added: ‘In light of the extensive scrutiny and public consultations undertaken by Eastleigh Borough Council, we are confident that the courts will back the council’s resolution to grant planning approval.’

Both Bournemouth International Airport Ltd and GOESA asked for a judicial review and had their initial requests rejected.

Bournemouth Interntional Airport is yet to officially confirm whether it has appealed against the court's decision.

But Eastleigh Borough Council leader Cllr Keith House, said: ‘It is telling that Bournemouth Airport have not sought to progress their judicial review following its rejection by the High Court. GOESA should do the same and stop trying to block economic recovery and jobs that will be secured by establishing a viable Southampton Airport for the future. The High Court has already backed the council’s decision once. Yet another hearing will just create more delay and put the airport’s future at risk.’

Bournemouth Airport has been approached for comment.