A pre-action letter sent to the Secretary of State in a bid to overturn the approval for development of Manston airfield into a freight cargo hub has been rejected.
Solicitors Kate Harrison and Susan Ring of Harrison Grant have agreed to act and to instruct barristers Richard Wald QC and Gethin Thomas in the action.
A Judicial Review would look at whether the Government followed correct procedure in reaching the decision to approve the DCO for RiverOak Strategic Partners.
The decision on a development consent order for the Manston airport site was announced on July 9 after delays in January and May.
The Department of Transport approved the application to create an air freight hub at the site. The Examining Authority panel of Martin Broderick, Jonathan Hockley, Kelvin MacDonald and Jonathan Manning had recommended that development consent should not be granted.
The JR bid was launched by Ramsgate Coastal Community Team chairperson Jenny Dawes last month.
A Judicial Review Pre-action Protocol letter to the Secretary of State setting out the proposed grounds for review was sent on July 24.
A response was received on August 7.
In an update today (August 12) Ms Dawes said: “The Secretary of State has chosen not to reverse his decision. Therefore my legal team is preparing to submit an application next week for judicial review.”
Councillors who voted against the proposal, Lynda and Stuart Piper and Cllr George Rusiecki, have raised concerns about the use of taxpayer’s money and the issue of councillors not seeing the contents of the pre-action letter or the response.
Green Party councillor Becky Wing abstained from the vote over concerns about the use of public funds. She has donated to the JR in a personal capacity and the Green Party has also donated.
Money from the town council has been paid into the solicitors’ client account with caveats set out in a covering letter.
RSP says it will reopen the airport in a £300m project to create an air freight hub with passenger services and business aviation. Plans for construction will be phased over 15 years and will include freight stands and four passenger stands for aircraft as well as warehousing and fuel storage to meet the forecast demand.
Ms Dawes says her action is being launched due to fears for the impact locally – particularly Ramsgate – and on the climate.
Manston airport closed in 2014 shortly after Stagecoach tycoon Ann Gloag bought the site from Infratil.