September 2023 Monthly Members Newsletter

Dear Terry,

The announcement of the decision on the second Manston Judicial Review arrived just in time to be included here and we now present the basic facts as the first item for the month.

Terry Prue

Where now on Manston Airport?

On Friday 22nd September Mr Justice Dove handed down his Decision on the second Manston Judicial Review. The Application was dismissed and in his conclusion the Judge said:


“I am not persuaded that either of the claimant’s grounds are made out in substance and therefore this application for judicial review must be dismissed.”

We’re providing a copy of the Judgement so members can see how the Judge arrived at his decision.

View a copy of the report

The Applicant Jenny Dawes has confirmed her intention to Appeal this Decision. In a statement also released on Friday she said:

“While I am disappointed with the judge’s decision today, this is not the end of the process. Judicial review proceedings are seldom straightforward and this one particularly so, given that this is thought to be the first redetermined Development Consent Order (DCO) considered by the courts.

Having already succeeded once in a judicial review against the Secretary of State’s first decision to approve Manston Airport, we always knew it would be more difficult to succeed a second time round. That is not because the economic case for Manston Airport has improved or because the climate change concerns have been resolved – quite the opposite in fact – but because the government was more careful the second time round to immunise its decision from judicial review. So far, that approach has worked. However, I remain 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, and the procedure followed by the Secretary of State was deeply flawed. The case raises significant issues relating to DCO redetermination processes, which will have an impact on how those cases are conducted in the future. I will therefore be appealing today’s ruling.”

John Walker

Design Awards Winners Announced

Photo: Richard Oades

The Ramsgate Design Awards ceremony was held at Radford House on 15th September. Nominators and representatives of the shortlisted projects gathered for a lively but informal evening of drinks and nibbles to hear the winning candidates in each of the various categories. (Thanks are due to Waitrose for suppling a generous helping of soft drinks to the evening).

The awards were last held in 2018 in pre Covid days with the Falstaff Hotel as the winning project. This year’s awards were arranged in association with Ramsgate Town Council with an aim of promoting good design and care about the quality of the built environment in Ramsgate, whether constructing from scratch or repairing an old building.

The Ramsgate Design Awards received 32 nominations in the various categories.

All the nominated projects varied widely in their nature and character, so the independent judging panel, had their work cut out to pick the winners in each category. The judges were Jane Hetherington. RTC Councillor, David Gullick, Architect, Gabriel Holland, Interior Designer, with Sue Gyde and Paul Shearer from the Ramsgate Society. Their first task was to draw up the shortlist in each category and members of the judging panel then variously visited the completed projects to help with their assessment.

Because the projects were so different in terms of scale and ambition, the judges used several criteria to select the final winners. Nominations were assessed not just on their design qualities, but also on their connection to the surrounding buildings as well as their contribution to the community. How the project overcame obstacles and the efforts involved also played a part in the judge’s decisions.

Winner of the prestigious Building of the Year award went to the Friends of Ellington Park for their renovation of the popular park in the centre of Ramsgate. The landscaping, bandstand, and new café all combine to make this project an outstanding feat of community effort.

For a complete list of all winners in all categories click below for the relevant page on our website:

Click to see all winners

Paul Shearer

New Ramsgate Society Talks

Photo: Janet Prue

We have had to change our regular talks venue following the decision of the Royal Temple Yacht Club to repurpose the room we had been using. For the next few months, we mainly will use the refurbished San Clu Hotel and, on occasions when it is not available, The Oak Hotel. Longer term there is a possibility of a transfer of some or all of the programme to Radford House. This does mean to please be careful to check the venue before you set off!

Our first use of the San Clu for the talk by Catriona Blaker went extremely well with a ‘full house’, a comfortable environment and many of the audience enjoying the other hotel facilities afterwards. We return again on October 26th for a further event within the 23 for 23 activities. Our next speaker is Laura Probert and her title is Dame Janet Stancomb-Wills: Ramsgate’s Clifftop Amazon.

The year 2023 marks the centenary of the appointment of Ramsgate’s (and Kent’s) first female mayor and greatest benefactor, Dame Janet Stancomb-Wills. Her achievements are central to the 23 for 23 celebrations and Laura Probert will illustrate why she was such a commanding and influential figure in the history of Ramsgate.

As to the title of this talk, it was in 1922 that the Revd Hertslet, Vicar of St George’s Church, commented that he was sure Dame Janet would have had no hesitation in leading a squadron of amazons on the East Cliff during the war, repelling any attempt at a German landing with her own hands had the need arisen.

Doors open at 6:30pm on October 26th and the talk will run from 7pm to 8pm. The room has full disabled access and facilities. There is also on-street unrestricted parking around the venue of the San Clu Hotel.

It is free to Ramsgate Society members. Everyone is welcomed but a £3 voluntary donation will be requested from non-members. Booking in advance is essential.

Book tickets here

Terry Prue

Climate Matters

Photo: Ruth Cutler

Welcome to a regular new column dedicated to Climate Change written by Phil Shotton, the Ramsgate Society Lead on Environment and Climate Change. Each column will look at the science, the data, what it all means and what we can do about it.

Expect straightforward explanations, myth-busting, and practical advice, all based on the facts, not rumour, hearsay or conspiracy theories. As an introduction, let’s introduce climate change, and what it means.

Climate Change refers to the effects on the earth’s climate caused by human activities. The old name, Global Warming, is less used now, not because the world isn’t getting warmer (it is), but because the climate effects of warming are many and varied. For some regions, and at some times during the year, the climate may actually be cooler. What is certain and obvious from events over the last few years, is that climatic events are becoming more extreme, with higher highs, lower lows, stronger winds, and both wetter and drier periods.

Climatic events, at their most basic, are driven by energy. The more energy available, the larger the event. As the planet warms, the energy driving our weather increases, and so the weather becomes more extreme.

The evidence overwhelmingly points to a warmer world being caused primarily by increased amounts of greenhouse gases in our environment.

Greenhouse gases are so named because their presence in the atmosphere retains solar energy (heat) like a greenhouse, preventing it from leaking away into space. Without some level of these gases the world would be very cold, but increasing levels cause global temperatures to rise. There are many greenhouse gases, the most abundant and well known being carbon dioxide and methane, but with others such as many refrigerant gases also significant.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) has been a climate influencer for millions of years. The last ice age ended largely because of the release of CO2 from the earth’s crust as a result of volcanic activity. The levels of CO2 now in the atmosphere are hugely more than in the last many thousands of years, and most result from human activities since the beginning of the industrial revolution.

Scientists have been measuring atmospheric CO2 directly for many decades, but historic levels can also be determined from ice cores drilled in deep ice in the arctic and antarctic.

The following graph shows CO2 levels over the last 800 thousand years. Note that CO2 has gone up and down on a regular cycle, but in the past 60+ years the level has increased to nearly double the largest levels over the last millenia.

In the next column we will examine what this enormous increase in CO2 means for our lives on this planet, and spoiler alert – it’s not all about climate.

Phil Shotton

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