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Appeal Against Manston Airport Denied

An appeal against the dismissal of a bid to go to judicial review to challenge the decision approving the reopening and redevelopment of the Manston airport site has been rejected.

A judgement issued yesterday (21st May) by Lord Justice Peter Jackson, Lord Justice Lewis and Lord Justice Warby followed a hearing at the Court of Appeal in April.

A bid for a Judicial Review into the decision to give the Manston airport project the go ahead was dismissed last September but claimant, Ramsgate resident Jenny Dawes, then appealed that judgement.

Today’s judgement means the DCO remains granted, as announced by the Department for Transport in August 2022.

Airport owners RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) want to create aviation at the site with a cargo freight hub and associated business. Construction is planned to be phased over 15 years and include 19 freight stands and four passenger stands for aircraft as well as warehousing and fuel storage.

RSP says detailed planning, construction, recruitment and the completion of the airspace change project will now take three years to complete – with the airport ready for operation in 2027.

Tony Freudmann, Director of airport owners RSP, said “We have always remained confident in our proposals and unshaken in our belief that we can create something very special at Manston which delivers both important capacity for UK air freight – and a sustainable economic boost for East Kent.”

“Although the past seven years have been intensely frustrating at times, the fact that we have gone all the way to the Court of Appeal means no stone has been left unturned in the examination of our proposals.We can now deliver our plans knowing with certainty that we have demonstrated, beyond question, that Manston has a vital role to play in addressing the airspace capacity issues blighting London and Southeast.”

Jenny Dawes, the appellant, said “We always knew it would be difficult. We may not have succeeded in quashing the second Manston Airport DCO but, importantly, this decision has clarified the rules and ensured a modicum of fairness for future campaigners where the Secretary of State relies on new evidence that has not been consulted on when redetermining a DCO application.”

“Nothing in the Court of Appeal’s decision touches on whether the Secretary of State was right to conclude that evidence based on interviews, transcripts of which were not disclosed, was sufficient to justify his decision.”

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