In our May Newsletter we reported on the Court of Appeal hearing, held on 24th April, into the appeal by Jenny Dawes to quash the DCO (Development Consent Order) granted by the Secretary of State for Transport. The appeal centred on points of law relating to the failure of RSP to share and consult on reports on which they relied, in breach of the legal requirements of fairness.

The judgements rejecting the appeal was issued on 21st May, thus bringing the series of legal challenges to the DCO to a close. RSP can no longer attribute continuing delay to this as a source.

In accordance with the granting of the DCO in 2022 the authorised development must commence within 5 years, that is, no later than 9th September 2027. The DCO, however, stipulates that no part of that development can commence until a development masterplan has been prepared, submitted and approved by TDC, Kent County Council and Historic England.

That masterplan must include:

  • Assessment, conservation and mitigation measures for heritage assets and archaeological remains
  • Environmental management plans for construction and operation phases
  • Ecological and noise mitigation
  • Landscaping
  • Protected species plan
  • Surface and foul water drainage plan
  • Traffic management plan
  • High Resolution Direction Finder (MoD) re-siting and replacement
  • Community consultative committee in place,

Following the Court of Appeal judgement, RSP announced that it is to update their existing plan over the next 18 months. Any material changes will require public consultation.

The Society based its position on the reopening of Manston on evidence from its own detailed research and analysis. Briefly: that there is no commercial need for a new cargo hub in the UK, Manston is in a highly disadvantageous location, and that there would be serious environmental and health risks. That remains the situation and the Examining Authority findings and recommendation confirmed our view. The Secretary of State chose to ignore that and subsequent expert opinion in approving the DCO in 2022.

Richard Oades

Vice Chair