An appeal against a court decision not to quash the development consent order for Manston airport has been rejected.
A bid for a Judicial Review into the decision to give the Manston airport project the go ahead was dismissed last month but claimant, Ramsgate resident Jenny Dawes, then appealed that judgement.
Now Mr Justice Dove has refused the appeal application and notice of the refusal was sent by the Judge’s clerk at 10.54am today (October 9).
DCO granted, quashed, granted, challenged again, dismissed
The DCO was initially granted in July 2020 when the Department of Transport approved the application to create an air freight hub at the site.
It was quashed in the High Court in February 2021 following a legal challenge launched by Ramsgate resident Jenny Dawes and supporters which resulted in the Secretary of State conceding the decision approval letter issued from the Minister of State did not contain enough detail.
The DCO was granted for a second time in August 2022 by then Transport Minister Karl McCartney.
In response Ms Dawes launched a second Judicial Review application in a bid to halt the airport plans and crowdfunded £75,000 in pledges to pay for the action.
The judicial review application was initially dismissed by Mr Justice Lane in January but then allowed on partial grounds in a review by Mrs Justice Lieven in March.
At a hearing before Honourable Mr Justice Ian Dove in July the focus was on the process for two areas -whether need for the airport was correctly assessed and whether due consideration was given to what impact the scheme might have on the Government’s ability to meet its future carbon reduction targets.
Mr Justice Dove issued a lengthy judgement dismissing the application last month.
Ms Dawes applied for permission to appeal against the judgement but this has also been denied.
Appeal application refusal
The Judge said there was no proper basis, within either of the grounds provided by Ms Dawes and her team, upon which permission to appeal could be granted.
Considering point 1(A), he said: “I am not satisfied that there is any arguable error in the judgment in respect of the failure to provide the supporting detailed documentation associated with the Azimuth Report. For the reasons set out in the judgment at paragraph 64 to 66 the requirements of fairness did not include the requirement to disclose this material…
“In relation to ground 1(B), there was no error in the judgment of the kind suggested in the construction of the Rule 19 and 20 of the Infrastructure Planning (Examination Procedure) Rules 2010: that construction was, as explained in paragraphs 71 and 72 of the judgment, based upon both the headings and the provisions of the Rules and the different factual contexts which they addressed.”
The remaining three points within Ground 1, he concluded, were not arguable.
Turning to the second ground, which was the matter of the Government relying upon policies prepared for addressing net zero and the aviation industry, he said the Defendant (The Secretary of State for Transport) was entitled to rely upon new policies that were published after the Examining Authority’s report: “The reliance upon these policies did not sidestep the conclusions of the Examining Authority, which the defendant clearly had regard to, but they superseded those conclusions in the decision-making process.”
He dismissed the argument that an appeal was merited on the grounds of this case being the first concerning the redetermination of a DCO.
Ms Dawes was ordered to pay costs to The Secretary of State for Transport of £5,000.
A claim of costs by Ms Dawes against RSP, for extra costs above that for the DfT, is yet to be settled. The original claim was for £21,960.24. The claim for counsel’s fees has since been reduced to £8,500 plus VAT but RSP lawyers say the claim for costs is unreasonable and is not agreed.
Court of Appeal bid?
Ms Dawes may now apply to the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal. This would ask the court to overturn Mr Justice Dove’s decision and his refusal to allow an appeal of that decision. Ms Dawes has 21 days to apply to the Court of Appeal for permission.
RSP wants 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.
The bid against the development raise issues including noise, need, climate harm and damage to Ramsgate’s tourism industry.
JR application to stop Manston airport Development Consent Order denied by judge
An application for Judicial Review of the Manston airport DCO has been rejected by a judge. The DCO was initially granted in July 2020 when the DfT approved the application by RiverOak Strategic Partners to make the airport an air freight hub. That was refused in the High Court in February 2021 following a legal challenge by Ramsgate resident Jenny Dawes and supporters which resulted in the DfT Secretary of State conceding the decision approval letter issued from the Minister of State did not contain enough detail. The DCO was granted for a second time in August 2022 by then Transport Minister Karl McCartney. In response Jenny launched a 2nd JR application, trying to stop the airport plans. The application was initially dismissed by Mr Justice Lane in January but then allowed on partial grounds in a review by Mrs Justice Lieven in March. The latest hearing was before Honourable Mr Justice Ian Dove in July. Jenny plans to appeal the judgement, and remains “firmly of the view that the government’s decision to proceed with Manston Airport, in the face of expert evidence to the contrary and in the context of the worsening climate crisis, is nonsensical.”
Permission for a second judicial review granted, challenging plans to become a freight airport
23.3.2023, By Michael Keohan, BBC News
A judge has granted a judicial review for plans to turn Manston Airport into an air freight hub. The government granted permission for the project last year, after the High Court ordered the Department for Transport to reconsider its decision to give the go-ahead for the works in 2021. The site’s owners said the development could face further delays. North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale said the news was “bitterly disappointing.” At an appeal hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice, judge Mrs Justice Lieven granted the review on three points, and asked for one on climate change to be addressed in writing within a week. This is the second time a development consent order for Manston Airport has faced a judicial review. Tony Freudmann, the director of RiverOak, which owns the site, said the review could delay plans to get flights taking off in 2026. Sir Roger said the announcement was “simply wasting time”. Manston Airport closed in May 2014.