Protesters lose bid to halt runway

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A renewed bid to halt the construction of Manchester Airport's second runway failed yesterday.

Protesters Philip Benn and Philip Johnson, both 23, asked the Court of Appeal to reconsider a judge's refusal to grant them leave to challenge the legality of the decision, taken in January, to give planning permission for the project. Mr Bennand and Mr Johnson, from Manchester, had hoped to argue that the Secretaries of State for the Environment and Transport had failed to take enough account of the risk to the environment and a possible air accident over densely populated areas. But Lord Justice Nourse said they had launched their challenge in March - outside the six-week time limit, which ran from the January decision. The protesters had claimed that the clock started ticking from 20 February, bringing them within the deadline.