The Ramsgate Society strongly welcomes the decision on 7th February by the Right Honourable Lord Justice Warby, sitting in the Court of Appeal Civil Division, to grant leave to Appeal against the decision of the Secretary of State for Transport to allow the Manston Airport DCO. This decision overturned the previous decision of L.J. Dove who had initially refused leave to Appeal.

In his Decision Notice Lord Justice Warby granted permission to appeal on the “need” grounds i.e. whether there was an overriding need for a cargo freight hub at Manston such that it qualified as a ‘Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project’ to be dealt with via the process known as a Development Consent Order (DCO)

In his Reasons, L.J. Warby said: The judge’s (L.J.Dove) approach to the significance of the IBA (International Bureau of Aviation) report, the need for consultation upon it, and the proper interpretation of the ministerial briefing all seem to me to merit appellate scrutiny.

Ramsgate Society Members will no doubt recall that following a Public Inquiry before four very senior Planning Inspectors, the Governments own Planning Inspectorate, recommended that the application be refused. One of the eight grounds of refusal was that the Applicant had failed to demonstrate sufficient need for the proposal.  The then Secretary of State Grant Schapps overrode his Inspectors recommendation and granted a Development Consent Order.  This was quashed on Judicial Review on the ground that it was irrational and the matter was referred back to the Secretary of State for redetermination.

The Secretary of State instructed the international planning consultants Arup to undertake an independent review of the case and advise him in connection with the redetermination process. The substantial review of the issues by Arup came to the same conclusion as the four Inspectors at the Public Inquiry and recommended that the application be refused.

Yet again the Secretary of State overrode his own expert’s advice and granted permission. This second DCO was the subject of the application for Leave to Appeal heard first by L.J. Dove and then by L.J. Warby who has now allowed the matter to proceed to the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal have just announced that the Judicial Review will be held on Wednesday 24th April with one day set aside for the hearing.

That leaves just under 10 weeks to raise the amount needed to pay the lawyers and to cover Jenny Dawes potential liability for costs of £10,000. The legal costs for the Judicial Review are estimated to be around £22,000 making a total of £32,000 in all.

There is currently around £11,000 in the solicitors’ client account for the Manston case leaving a ‘shortfall’ of just over £20k to be raised. Based on previous fundraising this is achievable but it needs your support. Even the smallest donations count so please do let your friends and neighbours know- and share the link to the CrowdJustice page

It’s possible that the Manston case may not be resolved before the general election this year, so it may well fall to a new incoming Government to finally determine the matter.

John Walker