An attempt made by campaigners to bring a High Court challenge against the construction of a third runway at Heathrow Airport has failed.

A coalition formed by Greenpeace UK, as series of local councils (Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead) as well as a Hillingdon resident claims that the governmental decision taken back in October 2016 to back plans for the runway is unlawful.

It argues that there was a failure to consult before resiling from promises that it would not be built, and that the Government has thus failed to recognise the project’s air quality impacts, deemed illegal.

Lawyers from the Transport Secretary, however, have argued that the judicial review could not go on, as it should allegedly not be heard until after the consultation on the National Policy Statement (NPS), to be published in 2017/2018.

Ray Puddifoot, leader of Hillingdon Council, said: “People right across London have repeatedly voiced their opposition to any expansion at Heathrow, and our job has always been, and continues to be, to represent our residents’ views and to challenge this terrible decision to allow a third runway.”

“Today’s ruling is not the end of Heathrow‘s problems, it is just the first step in what will be a losing battle for them and the Government, neither of which can get around the problem of unlawful air quality impacts, let alone all of the other issues it faces. The blatant waste of public money by the Government at this time is lamentable,” he added.

Greenpeace also weighed in on the issue, with executive director John Sauven saying that today’s ruling was “about the timing of our legal challenge, not its merit”.

Says Sauven: “It doesn’t change the fact that ministers have no solution to the huge air and noise pollution problems caused by a third runway. By forging ahead with a flawed consultation, ministers are just delaying an inevitable legal challenge, wasting more time, energy and public money in the process.”

“Expanding Heathrow will heap more misery on thousands of Londoners already breathing illegal levels of air pollution and make it impossible for the Government to comply with air quality laws. The Government should ditch this project as they have promised to do many times in the past,” he concluded.