August members monthly newsletter

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We hope everyone is keeping clear of the virus and welcome you to the Ramsgate Society August Newsletter

Manston Airport Judicial Review

I think it’s generally known that Ramsgate resident Jenny Dawes (The Applicant) is seeking a Judicial Review (JR) of the Secretary of State’s decision to approve a Development Consent Order (DCO) for Manston Airport despite the Examining Authority’s recommendation that the application be refused. 

The application for a JR has to be made on or before Thursday 20 August. The procedure is that the Applicant has to send a pre-application protocol letter to the Secretary of State notifying him of their intention to seek a Judicial Review and outlining the reasons for their concerns. This letter was sent by Harrison Grant, the Applicant’s solicitors, on 24 July and a response was received from the Treasury Solicitor, acting for the Secretary of State, on Friday 7 August. 

In their response the Treasury Solicitors rebutted the Applicant’s statement of grounds which in my experience is a common technique used in the legal profession while they try and think of what to do! The Applicant’s legal team will be carefully considering the letter from the Treasury Solicitor over the next two weeks before deciding the legal grounds for the application for Judicial Review.
Judicial Review is a remedy available in the Administrative Court (part of the High Court). It is a remedy designed to keep a check on any public body carrying out a public decision-making function. It might be the Home Office, one of the Upper Tribunals, the Prison Service, a Local Authority or an Ombudsman, for example. In this case it is the Secretary of State for Transport. The Court has wide-ranging powers. It can quash (undo) a decision. It can grant an injunction, or even award damages. What the Court is looking for, in order for it to grant a remedy, is illegality, irrationality or gross unreasonableness. In effect a decision which any rational person could not justify on the basis of the evidence. 

In the meantime, the crowdfunding appeal launched via CrowdJustice is edging towards its target of £75,000 to cover the legal costs should the JR be given leave to proceed. If you are a local resident who feels you are adversely affected by the DCO you may wish to consider contributing to the appeal by going to the appeal site.

John Walker


The future of Ramsgate Port and Harbour: member survey

We are pleased to report a 40% response rate to our Future of Ramsgate Port and Harbour Survey, prompted by consultants WSP feasibility study report to TDC early this year. We are currently analysing the data from the survey and the findings will make a substantial contribution to a Society response to the TDC consultation exercise which closes in October. We will include more on our survey results in the September newsletter.


Ramsgate Society Talks at the Ramsgate Festival of Sound

We have arranged three activities for the 2020 Ramsgate Festival, keeping within our expectations of available options to maintain social distancing but aware that regulations can change at short notice, so booking details will follow in a later email and will also be posted on the Ramsgate Society and Festival websites. 

On Monday Sep 7th local author, Rose Black, will be discussing the importance of place in historical fiction, the Victorian obsession with ghosts – and why she set her Gothic novel ‘The Unforgetting’  in Ramsgate. Restriction permitting, she will present at 3pm in the airy upstairs room in the Oak Hotel but note that booking will be essential as numbers have to be strictly limited.

Photo (c) Mike Goldwater
On Friday Sep 11th author Geraint Franklin and contributors Nick Dermott and Allan Brodie will be discussing their new Historic England publication ‘Ramsgate: the town and its seaside heritage’, which has been produced as part of the Heritage Action Zone.  Janet Fielding will compere the event which will be streamed live, with the opportunity to put questions to the panel, at 3pm on Friday, 11th September. The link will be emailed to all online Ramsgate Society members and shown on the Society and Festival websites.
At 11am on the mornings of both the 7th and 11th September Jayne Evelyn will lead a tour that aims to situate, compare and contrast the fine examples of early 19C Regency and mid 19C Gothic Revival seaside residential architecture on the West Cliff promenade. These are Mary Townley’s Regency Royal Crescent Terrace, detached classical villa West Cliff Lodge, Habershon’s Gothic Revival Chartham Terrace and Pugin’s Gothic Revival Grange. These tours are restricted to just 6 people and facemasks are recommended.

All events may be subject to change so check for our email updates and if you have concerns or want to pre-book contact Terry Prue

Ramsgate Conservation Area Tree Planting Scheme

This year (2020) is the 50th Anniversary of the designation of the Ramsgate Conservation Area in 1970. The Society was very much involved in a Conservation Area Appraisal lead by Historic England in 2019 as part of the Ramsgate Heritage Action Zone Project, and this gave rise to the idea of celebrating this Golden Anniversary by planting 50 trees in the Conservation Area this coming Autumn.

Working closely with Kevin Pressland, the Thanet District Council Officer responsible for Open Spaces, Ramsgate Society committee member Irene Seijo has been working on the details of the project. Irene is an experienced landscape consultant with 25 years experience in public realm planning and development.

We have now identified a number of sites where the trees are to be planted and careful consideration has been given to the most suitable species. Very competitive costings have been obtained from Premium Plants, a Kent based tree nursery and the plan is to carry out the planting during National Tree Week between 28th November and 6th December this year.  

This is where you come in!
We are very keen to show that this is truly a community-based project so we have decided that the tree planting should be carried out by local volunteers and we are inviting people to come forward and help us plant these trees during National Tree Week. We very much hope that Ramsgate residents young and old, parents and children will want to be involved.  

We are planning a “pop up” event in September to introduce the project to local residents. This will take the form of a drop-in event where we can explain the project in detail, get your views on our ideas and give you the opportunity to register as a volunteer to help with the planting. We will be in touch again later this month with a date, time and venue.

The Arts Barge

Earlier this month the 130-year-old Dutch barge Vriendschap was on the main slipway for a hull inspection. This was the next important step for the Ramsgate Arts Barge Community Interest Company (CIC) which is now under new leadership and direction of Ramsgate residents Kevin O’Connor & Natasha De Samarkandi. Details on the plans and progress of the project here.

Photo credit : Terry Prue

Ramsgate Visitor Information Centre

Ramsgate’s Visitor Information Centre (VIC), located at The Custom House in Harbour Parade, is funded by Ramsgate Town Council and manned by various volunteers. They operate in shifts to provide a weekly service.

The VIC can advise on destinations within Ramsgate, Thanet and Kent and there is a comprehensive selection of leaflets covering a wide range of activities and attractions.
Ramsgate hosts a wide range of cultural and leisure activities during the year. You will find information on those activities in the VIC. If you want to know what’s on and when in Ramsgate, the VIC is the best place in town for event information.

The VIC volunteers are dedicated to helping visitors and residents get the information they need. Their advice is completely free and is backed up with a fine selection of local maps and guides.

The VIC has been closed during the Lockdown, for obvious reasons, but Ramsgate Town Council are looking to reopen the service again in September this year and are looking to recruit some new volunteers to help run the operation which is a key contributor to the visitor experience of the town.

Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Eileen Richford at Ramsgate Town Council on 01843 598753 or email who will be very happy to provide more information.


Contact the Ramsgate Society 

If you have any queries about or for the Society please get in touch or please visit the Society’s website or please visit the Ramsgate Society Facebook page
Members with events, workshops or news that you would like the Society to consider featuring in its newsletter please contact:
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