Deadline for submissions – 9th July – for Transport Sec of State re-determination of Manston DCO
Further representations are invited for the Secretary of State’s re-determination of the application by RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) for an order granting Development Consent for the reopening and development of Manston Airport.
The Secretary of State has also appointed an independent aviation assessor to advise him on matters relating to the need for the development and to produce a report summarising those findings.
Submission deadline is July 9.
A Development Consent Order granting approval for an air freight hub at Manston airport was quashed in February with a new decision now needing to be issued after a re-examination of the Planning Inspectorate evidence.
The action came as the result of a Judicial Review challenge to the decision, launched by Ramsgate resident Jenny Dawes last year, which was to have been heard in the High Court.
The substantive hearing was due to look at whether the Government followed correct procedure in reaching the decision to approve the DCO for airport landowners RiverOak Strategic Partners.
But, last December the Department of Transport acknowledged that the decision approval letter issued from the Minister of State did not contain enough detail about why approval was given against the advice of the Planning Inspectorate and said the Judicial Review would not be contested.
An official consent order was issued from the court to quash the DCO.
- the extent to which current national or local policies (including any changes since 9 July 2020 such as, but not limited to, the re-instatement of the ANPS) inform the level of need for the services that the development would provide and the benefits that would be achieved
- whether the quantitative need for the development has been affected by any changes since 9 July 2019, and if so, a description of any such changes and the impacts on the level of need from those changes (such as, but not limited to, changes in demand for air freight, changes of capacity at other airports, locational requirements for air freight and the effects of Brexit and/or Covid);
- the extent to which the Secretary of State should, in his re-determination of the application, have regard to the sixth carbon budget (covering the years between 2033 – 2037) which will include emissions from international aviation; and
- any other matters arising since 9 July 2019 which Interested Parties consider are material for the Secretary of State to take into account in his re-determination of the application.
The Secretary of State (letter dated 11th June) also requests that, in light of the passage of time since close of the examination, RSP considers the currency of the environmental information produced for the application and, where necessary, submit updated information. https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/wp-content/ipc/uploads/projects/TR020002/TR020002-005360-FINAL%20Statement%20of%20Matters%20-%20Manston%20Airport.pdf
The Secretary of State also requires information regarding compulsory purchase of some parcels of land.
Responses should be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, marked “For the attention of the Manston Airport Case Team”.
Representations and the new reports will be available to see after the deadline at https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/south-east/manston-airport/
The DCO application was accepted for examination in August 2018 and it was completed on 9 July 2019. The examination was conducted on the basis of written and oral submissions submitted to the ExA and by eight issue-specific hearings, two compulsory acquisition hearings and four open floor hearings held in Margate and Sandwich. The ExA also conducted one unaccompanied site inspection in January 2019 and one accompanied site inspection in March 2019.
The examining panel recommendation was for refusal. This was overturned by the Secretary of State when granting the original DCO.
The Judicial Review launched by Ramsgate resident Jenny Dawes challenged that decision based on:
Ground 1: Need
Ground 2: Breach of Procedural Requirement/Unfairness
Ground 3: Net Zero Duty
The site is in ownership of RSP after a £16million buy out from previous owners Stone Hill Park who had hoped to gain permission for a multi-use housing, business and leisure development.
RSP aims to create aviation at the site with a cargo hub and associated business.
Manston DCO officially quashed – fresh decision from Sec of State only way the freight airport could proceed
Manston airport becoming a freight airport is the first Development Consent Order (DCO) for an airport. The Planning Inspectorate (PI) advised the DfT that plans should be rejected in October 2019. The DfT then wanted more information about the plans, from the airport developers, RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP). In July 2020, Sec of State Grant Shapps, for the DfT decided to ignore the PI’s advice, and allow the DCO. This was then legally challenged by local campaigner, Jenny Dawes, and the challenge was allowed to go ahead, in October 2020. By December the Grant Shapps had agreed that his decision approval letter did not contain enough detail about why approval was given against the advice of the PI – so the DCO was quashed. Now on 15th February a High Court judge has ruled that the DCO is quashed. The Defendant (Secretary of State for Transport) and RSP will pay Jenny Dawes’ “reasonable costs” up to £70,000. Grant Shapps, will now need to issue a renewed decision on the DCO. If there is another DCO similar to the original, the same arguments against it still stand, based on need, breach of procedural requirements, and the Net Zero carbon duty. If he decides against another DCO, then RSP may bring another legal challenge, or give up.
Manston Airport is the first ever proposed airport development to go through the DCO examination process, and the claim was the first challenge to an airport DCO. It is understood that the DCO is the first grant of consent for a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) to be quashed since the introduction of the Planning Act 2008.