Manston airport judicial review: permission granted for legal challenge
A judge has granted permission for a legal challenge against the government’s decision to reopen Manston airport. The crowdfunder set up to help pay for a judicial review has now reached more than £80,000. Now the application for the review has been granted, the Secretary of State’s decision in July to approve a development consent order to open Manston as a freight cargo air hub will be challenged in court. The legal battle was launched by Jenny Dawes, the chair of Ramsgate Coastal Community Team. Solicitors Kate Harrison and Susan Ring of Harrison Grant are acting for her, and instructing barristers Richard Wald QC and Gethin Thomas. The reasons for opposing the reopening of the airport for freight are partly due to the noise, as the arrival flight path is directly over Ramsgate, near the airport. There are also strong arguments on air pollution and the UK’s climate targets. The advice of the Planning Inspectorate was to refuse permission for DCO. Jenny said: “According to the government’s own experts, re-opening the airport will damage the local economy and impact negatively on the UK’s carbon budget and our commitments to the Paris climate agreement.”
Manston airport judicial review: permission granted for legal challenge
By Phil Hayes KENT TRAVEL NEWS firstname.lastname@example.org
13 October 2020
A judge has granted permission for a legal challenge against the government’s decision to reopen Manston airport.
It comes as a crowdfunder set up to help pay for an application process for a judicial review has now reached more than £80,000.
Now the application for the review has been granted, the Secretary of State’s decision to approve a development consent order to open Manston near Ramsgate as a freight cargo air hub will be challenged in court.
North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale hopes the judicial review will be dealt with swiftly.
“The judge has granted the judicial review on the grounds that there may be a case to answer which is scarcely a ringing endorsement of the application,” he said.
“Hopefully the hearing will be held as soon as possible so that plans to re-open the airfield and the £300 million of investment and the jobs that it will create can proceed as swiftly as possible.
Tony Freudmann, director of RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP), which owns the airport, told KentOnline: “We are meeting out lawyers this afternoon and will be issuing a full statement tomorrow.”
The legal battle was launched by Jenny Dawes, the chair of Ramsgate Coastal Community Team.
Solicitors Kate Harrison and Susan Ring of Harrison Grant have agreed to act for her and to instruct barristers Richard Wald QC and Gethin Thomas.
As she launched the campaign in July, Ms Dawes said Thanet’s coastline and a number of towns and villages are facing disaster.
“The disused airport at Manston has been given permission by the government to re-open as a highly-polluting cargo hub,” she said.
Extinction Rebellion Thanet held an anti-Manston protest along the A299 Thanet Way on Friday
“This is against the advice of the government’s own planning experts, which sets a worrying precedent in the face of air pollution and climate change.
“According to the government’s own experts, re-opening the airport will damage the local economy and impact negatively on the UK’s carbon budget and our commitments to the Paris climate agreement.”
Ms Dawes says it will cause irreparable harm to the people, the natural environment and the economy of east Kent.
The government granted the DCO in July, enabling the airport to reopen, with work starting on site next year.
RSP plans to launch in April 2023 and bosses say it will be primarily air freight, handling at least 10,000 air cargo movements per year, with passenger flights starting around two years later, handling about one million passengers a year.
The facility is expected to have created 23,000 jobs by the airport’s 20th year of operation and give east Kent a £300 million boost.
Sir Roger and South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay are in support of the airport reopening.
In August, Ms Dawes sent a pre-action letter demanding the government’s decision be overturned – but this was rejected by the Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps.
Ms Dawes and her team submitted the judicial review application soon after.
To see the crowdfunder click here. https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/support-judicial-review-of-man/
Challenge to Manston airport DCO – barristers from 39 Essex Chambers, and Harrison Grant solicitors
Paul Stinchcombe QC, Richard Wald QC and Gethin Thomas are instructed by Kate Harrison and Susan Ring of Harrison Grant LLP in a judicial review of the Secretary of State for Transport’s decision to approve the re-opening of Manston Airport, as a dedicated freight airport. In so deciding, the Secretary of State overturned the recommendation of the Examining Authority [the Planning Inspectorate] to refuse development consent. They act on behalf of Jenny Dawes, a local resident who participated in the examination. Manston Airport has been disused since it was formally closed in 2014. The claim, issued on 19th August, contends that the Secretary of State’s analysis of the need for the development was flawed, and that moreover, the Secretary of State failed to discharge his duty to ensure that the net UK carbon account for the year 2050 is at least 100% lower than the 1990 baseline (“Net Zero”), under section 1 of the Climate Change Act 2008.
19th August 2020
Judicial review challenge to Manston Airport DCO issued today – Kate Harrison & Susan Ring of @HGLegal instructing Paul Stinchcombe QC, Richard Wald QC & Gethin Thomas in Judicial Review of Sec State’s decision to approve re-opening of Manston Airport, as dedicated freight airport.
The claim has today been issued at the High Court: the Defendant & Interested Party (RSP) now have until 11 Sept to file an acknowledgement of service indicating whether they wish to contest the claim and, if so, setting out their summary grounds for doing so
Pre-action letter urging Secretary of State to overturn Manston Airport decision is rejected
14 August 2020
A pre-action letter demanding the government’s decision to reopen Manston Airport be overturned has been rejected by the Secretary of State for Transport. Campaigner Jenny Dawes, who has launched a bid to stop the former airfield near Ramsgate becoming a freight cargo air hub, sent the letter to MP Grant Shapps, but he has refused to reverse the approval.
She says in light of this, she is now preparing for a legal battle, with her team – solicitors Kate Harrison and Susan Ring of Harrison Grant – getting ready to submit an application next week for a judicial review. If the review is granted, the decision by Mr Shapps to approve a development consent order to open Manston as a cargo hub will be challenged in court.
She says the pre-action letter setting out the draft grounds for judicial review was sent to the Secretary of State, who had 14 days to respond. “The next step is to issue the claim at court and apply for permission to bring proceedings,” she said. “This will be served on the Secretary of State as the Defendant and the developer as an Interested Party. All this must be done by August 20.” To see the crowdfunder click here.
Concerns about proposed flight paths in and out of Manston when (if) it reopens for air freight
Development consent was finally granted in July, by the government, for a freight air cargo hub at Manston. The Thanet site is owned by RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) which now has to complete the various stages of the Civil Aviation Authority CAP 1616 process for airspace change. RiverOak is currently on ‘stage 2’, known as the develop and access gateway. But CARMA, the Campaign Against the Reopening of Manston Airport, has questioned the lack of transparency of the process so far. They have drawn particular focus on the planned flight paths, claiming 30 towns and villages will be impacted. There are illustrations of some proposed flight paths, arrivals and departures, in the RSP documents. These show many areas of east Kent being overflown, for the first time. CARMA is very concerned that these routes have been drawn up, without information for, or consultation with, the public. Relevant community representatives have not been being properly informed. At the best of times, the CAA flight path alteration process is difficult for laypeople to understand, with “CAP1616 process” and “design options” and “airspace design principles” and “technical and operational interdependencies” among other bits of jargon, which are not written in “plain English.”
Plan for cargo hub at Manston Airport seriously flawed, says consultant
An aviation consultant, Peter Forbes (from Alan Strafford & Associates) has joined a group which believes the attempt to turn Manston airport into a cargo hub is seriously flawed. Mr Forbes believes RSP sees the only real value in the land as housing or industrial development. Its plans, even if they ever worked out, would be in addition to cargo flights at East Midlands, which handles the second largest tonnage in the UK after Heathrow. Mr Forbes also questioned the jobs figures that the airport is claiming, and its location, “The key disadvantage of Manston is its location at the extreme south-east corner of the UK and its poor surface access. Historic traffic levels at the airport have generally been modest. “The increased onward distribution times at Manston are particularly relevant for perishable goods, which comprise a significant proportion of all dedicated freighter cargo. In addition, the inability to offer night flights at the airport, which is a condition …, will be a significant constraint for the development of a freight hub, particularly for main international freight package couriers such as Fedex, UPS and DHL.” Two other aviation consultants, York Aviation and AviaSolutions, have also apparently said the airport is not viable.