Twenty-three local authorities are to apply for a judicial review to try and get the go ahead for a third runway at London Heathrow Airport overturned in the High Court.
The 2M Group – as it is known – is to argue that insufficient dialogue took place between interested parties and the government before the go ahead was given and therefore the process was unlawful.
If permission is granted for a review then it will not be heard until next year and it will also come as a blow to BAA after being told it has to sell Gatwick, Stansted and one of its Scottish airports.
It could also be a double body blow if – as some suspect – BAA is towing the line with the government with regard to the sale of some of its airports in return for support to grow Heathrow significantly. But if this is not the case and this review is granted and subsequently proves successful, then it really is difficult to see what is left of the original company that Ferrovial and its fellow investors bought back in 2006.
The strong support given to the third runway by Transport Minister Geoff Hoon would seem to suggest that the UK Government knows it has to give Ferrovial and Co something, even if it is not prepared to get involved in taking any position on the Competition Commission's recommendations that BAA should sell three airports.
The request for a review is also being backed by London Mayor Boris Johnson, who favours an alternative Thames estuary airport site, and it is also supported by green groups such as Greenpeace and the Campaign to Protect Rural England.