New Civil Engineer - Rob Hakimian

The airport is looking to extend the northern end of its runway by 164m, which remains within its current boundaries, saying it is “absolutely critical to [its] viability as a regional airport”. In April 2021, Eastleigh Borough Council voted to approve planning permission for the scheme.

The judicial review was finally heard last week on April 27 and 28, with Justice Holgate presiding over the case. Over the two-day hearing, legal representatives of both sides argued over the grounds on which the application was approved; the impact on the surrounding countryside; whether the airport had overstated its need for the extension; the relevance of planning policies consulted by the authority during the decision making process; whether the scheme should have been called in by the Secretary of State; and whether objectors to the scheme had a legitimate expectation that it could not be approved before the government decided whether a public consultation was necessary.

Following the conclusion of the hearing, Justice Holgate decided to reserve judgement. He told the representatives that a confidential draft of his decision would be circulated to the QCs and their legal teams in the coming days, with a final version to be made public shortly after.

Full Article