Britain to consider next steps on Heathrow expansion after court ruling

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will set out its next steps in due course regarding expansion at Heathrow Airport after a court ruled the plan was unlawful on environmental grounds, transport minister Grant Shapps said on Thursday.

London’s Court of Appeal ruled that the previous government had not taken account of climate change commitments when opting for a third runway at Europe’s busiest airport, and that the government must review the airport policy statement for it to be legal. The government is not appealing the ruling.

“We have always been clear that Heathrow expansion is a private sector project which must meet strict criteria on air quality, noise and climate change, as well as being privately financed, affordable, and delivered in the best interest of consumers,” Shapps said in a statement.

“We take seriously our commitments on the environment, clean air and reducing carbon emissions. We will carefully consider this complex judgment and set out our next steps in due course.”

Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Kate Holton