Hearing scheduled for continued legal challenge bid against Manston airport development

Manston airport Photo Frank Leppard

A two-hour hearing will take place on March 23 in a bid to proceed to a judicial review challenging the government’s decision to give the go ahead for the development of Manston airport.

The hearing will take place at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

Last month a Judicial Review application submitted on behalf of Ramsgate resident Jenny Dawes was denied by the High Court. She then made the application to have that decision reviewed at an oral hearing,.

Manston airport site Image RSP

Ms Dawes’ second bid for judicial review followed a government decision to re-grant a development order allowing airport owners RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) to create a new cargo hub at the site.

The first decision to grant permission for the Manston airport proposals was announced by government on July 9 2020.

The Department of Transport approved the application to create an air freight hub at the site. A Planning Inspectorate Examining Authority panel of Martin Broderick, Jonathan Hockley, Kelvin MacDonald and Jonathan Manning  had recommended that development consent should not be granted.

The first Judicial Review bid was then launched by Ms Dawes with Ramsgate Town Council as one of the backers with the majority of councillors agreeing to donate up to £10,000 of council funds to the cause.

In December 2020 the Department of Transport acknowledged that the decision approval letter issued from the Minister of State did not contain enough detail and in February 2021 the DCO approval was quashed.

The development approval was again issued last August by then Transport Minister Karl McCartney.

Ms Dawes then launched a second Judicial Review application in a bid to halt the airport plans but this was refused in January by the Honourable Mr Justice Lane.

The current application for renewal of the claim for permission to apply for judicial review of the  airport decision will be considered at a hearing before a planning judge.

Ms Dawes says the airport would cause: “irreparable harm to the people, environment and the economy of East Kent,”

On the crowdfunding page raising money for the legal action Ms Dawes says: “If the hearing is decided in our favour, the case will proceed to judicial review.  If the decision is not in our favour, we can apply to the Court of Appeal.”

Airport plans

RSP plans

RSP aims to create aviation at the site with a cargo hub and associated business. Plans for construction will be phased over 15 years and will include 19 freight stands and four passenger stands for aircraft as well as warehousing and fuel storage, eight business aviation hangers and three recycling hangars and aprons

Before Manston Airport can reopen as an airfreight hub, new air routes must be approved through a detailed airspace change process through the Civil Aviation Authority

The airspace change process has now reached Stage 3 of seven stages.

During Stage 2, RSP and specialist consultants developed a number of options for the flight procedures that will be required when the airport re-opens. These options will be subject to a full public consultation this year.

Following the consultation, RSP will submit an airspace procedures proposal to the CAA for consideration, with a decision expected during the course of 2024.

Survey and design works are taking place with ‘on the ground’ works earmarked to start by the middle of next year with RSP saying the £500m project is expected to launch in 2026.

RSP says by Year 5 they forecast 2,150 jobs on the airport site and 13,100 indirect/catalytic jobs. They add: “Roles (at a variety of levels from entry to senior management) that have been identified, in common with most airports, include administration/airport management, retail, catering, car parking, transport, maintenance, ground operations, air traffic services, rescue and firefighting, engineering, customer services, border inspections, live animal specialists, customs and immigration and many more.

“There will also be a range of construction jobs, both ahead of reopening and across the four phases of development. Some of these roles will be necessary from the outset, others will be required as the airport develops.”

Manston airport closed in May 2014, seven months after the site was sold to Stagecoach tycoon Ann Gloag for a nominal £1, plus accrued debts.

Government grants Development Consent Order for Manston Airport


  1. Oh for goodness sake, how much longer dragging this out? Are the council-ratepayers-expected to fork out more money to fund this fruitless saga?

    • Well RSP could have dropped the DCO when they bought the land over two years ago, got permission from TDC and started building. It is their choice to continue with the DCO process with the inherent risk of delay.

    • There is a bridge for sale if you believe those lies-they were told from 1998 to when it closed & when it did there were just 144 jobs & most of them were part-time. The same guy telling those porkies is the one making the same promises again now-when will people learn?

  2. I agree with Dennis. It’s about time those of us who want the airport are taken notice of and the minority (the objectors) are stopped from forcing this to be dragged over and over through courts. I feel sorry for the MP’s who have worked so hard and both of whom seem to be very much in favour of the airport.

  3. No.the article says crowd funding.anytime time now the misogynist manstonian fringe will start up.
    We will receive more daft stuff about holiday flights and the sunny uplands of RSPs beneficent investment in Thanet’s future.By now we should be able to follow the money.How long before RSP actually comes up with the cash?

  4. The courts take a very dim view of Vexatious claims. That is all this is it will not stop Manston Airport reopening. Get use to it and find something else to complain about.

    • It really is time she was designated a vexatious litigant. Until that happens she will not stop. She had already insisted that even if the oral hearing goes against her a Court of Appeal is the likely next step. And if she fails there do not bet against her and those who are backing her financially going to the Supreme Court. I can envisage this grotesque Luddite campaign lumbering on through to next year.

      • Like any UK resident Jenny Dawes is fully entitled to go through the legal process if she feels the SOS/DFT has acted incorrectly. She has already shown the SOS/DFT’s last decision letter was unlawful and the DCO quashed once already

        • If she can hold them off long enough then Labour can quash this stupidity when they get in. Tories have already changed their minds multiple times. The thing is years away even by their own predictions.

          One hopes they will see sense like the stupid Disney Park proposal at Swanscombe have many times & cut their losses.

    • We take a very dim view of outlandish claims as well-like the same guy who made predictions over & over about mass local employment at Manston when he was a big deal at Wiggins group in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s, that were constantly downgraded & never came to fruition-144 when it closed for good, who is now doing exactly the same on behalf of RSP.

    • They do Ann but at the same time the appeal process is there to ensure the Government don’t become a dictatorship
      Without an appeal process people would still be in jail

  5. It’s all coming out now the labour run Ramsgate Town Council is funding this again just to get elected again in may local elections political parties shurely are not allowed to use tax payers money for political gain there needs to be an inquiry into these goings on I thought the labour wants employment by blocking this again they are letting Ramsgate s young people down and Thanet as a whole the whole of the district has been in the dark for far to long corruption at its best here with the town council I am not surprised if the green party is funding this on the quiet as well that woman must have money to waste usually costs if you loose goes back to her.

    • If you actually knew what you were talking about you would know RTC are not funding this in any way it is all done through crowdfunding and not through any political connections whatsoever.

      • To the other Ramsgate Resident, In live streaming of RTC’s recent meeting, Councillor David Green said £10,000 of OUR money had gone straight to Jenny Dawes’s solicitors!

  6. Ms Dawes is obviously expecting the Oral Hearing to uphold Judge Lanes Ruling on the JR Application…So is already planning to go to Appeal…Remember, there is no guarantee that she will have that Application granted either…It is not a right.
    Remember too, as each tier of the Judicial Process is approached, the costs rise exponentially…a very sharp increase..Plus, this Oral Hearing is purely on the Judges Ruling on the Application for JR, which Mr Justice Lane declared as “unarguable “ on all counts…If people wish to donate to the Crowdfunding, that is a matter for them, but in these stained Financial Times, they must realise that they will get nothing back.
    The DCO has been Granted Twice…It’s the Government through the Dept for Transport, that made that Decision, so it’s the Government who were the Respondents in the JR Application…now, the Judges Ruling is being challenged…Well, the outcome I suggest is unlikely to be successful for Ms Dawes…

  7. Gary Fuller
    Fri 11 Feb 2022 06.00 GMT


    The clear blue skies of the first lockdown are being crisscrossed by contrails once again. These white lines are caused by ice crystals that form on the huge numbers of tiny, ultrafine particles that come from aircraft engines. Ultrafine particles are far smaller than the wavelength of light, but contrails are a rare example of them being made visible.
    Ultrafine particles are not just a problem in the skies above us. Airports are a large source, and my latest research has been searching for these tiny particles close to Gatwick. They were not hard to find. The number of ultrafine particles 500 metres downwind of the airport was greater than those at the kerb of London’s busiest roads. They mostly came from aircraft during takeoff and landing, but traffic, car parks and a large catering facility used to cook airline food all added to the problem.
    In 2021, the Dutch Health Council and the World Health Organization (WHO) highlighted the growing evidence that ultrafine particles are damaging our health. This includes 75 studies; mostly relating to lung inflammation, blood pressure and heart problems, along with risks to foetal growth. However, technical differences between the studies meant that the WHO has not set a standard.

    Airlines flying near-empty ‘ghost flights’ to retain EU airport slots
    Read more

    We are yet to understand the spread of ultrafine particles from Gatwick, but we do know they can travel a long way. Ultrafine particles from aircraft have been found across the Los Angeles suburbs. We have found ultrafine particles from Heathrow across large areas of west London, and they can be detected more than 12 miles (20km) away in the city centre. It is a similar situation in several European cities, meaning millions of people are exposed.
    More than 10 years ago I was part of a study that found day to day changes in ultrafine particles in London matched the number of people dying or going to hospital with heart problems. Since then, I have tracked reductions in ultrafine particles in our cities as a side-effect of regulations to tackle other air pollutants. These include removing sulphur impurities from diesel fuel and requiring particle filters on the exhausts of new vehicles.
    Researchers have suggested that sulphur is removed from aircraft fuel too, to match the tight limits on sulphur in diesel and petrol. This would be a possible solution for ultrafine particles.
    In the meantime, Bristol airport’s expansion was approved earlier this month and Gatwick is applying to increase capacity by bringing its emergency runway into regular use. Ultrafine particles are not included in the environmental assessments, putting us at risk of increased air pollution for decades to come.
    The headline of this article was amended on 22 February 2022 to better reflect the contents of the piece.

  8. The medical evidence on the threat to health from the particulates that aircraft emit especially on a low approach in constant use is being ignored by Gale Mackinlay and Freaudman we are hearing all the same old promises that were made in 1999 at the very start. It failed three times with huge financial loss under the same operator then as now.With a health threat so high The Court Of Human Rights may stop it.

  9. Wasting all this money going against the airport why doesn’t the town council put the money towards tidying the crap hole of a town up for a start, and maybe get on to kcc about the state of ramsgates roads there disgusting pot holes on nearly every road you drive down, gutters full of weeds the list goes on !!!

    • Interesting viewpoint but it is a shame that instead of whining you volunteer to tidy the mess made by residents who don’t care

  10. Good work Jenny-get all this garbage out of Thanet-Manston & its non-existent mass jobs that were promised & never happened from 1998-2014 & won’t this time either, Turder & the junk inhabiting it, along with Emin’s stick men drawing courses & all the other ‘modern art’ galleries/hubs, Banksy’s rubbish, Dreamland with its degenerate 4 AM parties & minority hair lecture agitators & this nonsense digital hub for high paid jobs that don’t & won’t exist here-as there is no plan to have them here.

    Let’s stop pretending that Thanet is Paris, Milan or Brighton for art & culture, that it is London or Manchester for digital industry jobs, that Manston is Gatwick or Heathrow for air travel & get realistic about improving the area & the lives of those in it.

    None of these things make any money-they bleed it & vast sums of taxpayer cash has been wasted for decades to fund these vanity projects.

  11. The DFL arts, culture & airport lot need to get it through their heads-this is a local area for local people. There’s nothing for them here.

  12. Interesting reading all the comments and of course everyone is entitled to their own views and opinions as am I. I am afraid I tend to lose respect for people, who put Thanet down and make childish remarks such as “Turder” etc., The simple fact is, while I am not “arty” myself, the many galleries do bring people to Thanet and Miss Emin, like her or not, has done a great deal for the place she calls home. There is still a way to go of course but even on a cold February morning we were impressed with just how many people were out and about on the seafront, enjoying the mainly lovely place that is Thanet. Spend some time in London and some suburbs congested with traffic and taxed to the hilt especially with the widened ULEX to come, and then make a comparison and realise we are indeed fortunate to live here. That all stemmed from yet another objection to Manston airport and I repeat an earlier observation I made about Biggin Hill airport which seems to be flourishing and certainly attracts lots of flights and visitors to the air shows and the airfield. Biggin Hill is a very populated area, perhaps more so than Manston. Be positive and optimistic please that is all I ask.

  13. Is Ms Dawes actually paying for her objections, or being ‘sponsored’ by the sources, ie fundraising, also why are R.T.C using money paid by the tax payer to fund ‘ there’s objection. If the objection fails, will the money be refunded, or will the the residents have ho pay, yet again, for poor management of their payments to an organisation that only care about their expenses.

    • You are behind the times here the money given legally by RTC enabled the first DCO to be quashed. This shows the DfT got it very wrong the first time in fact even with te support of RSP’s very expensive solicitors the had to capitulate unreservedly

  14. I used to vote Labour locally but never again after seeing the sheer damage they do by pretending to care for the environment when at the same time allowing the streets and Town to be dirty.
    Jenny Dawes seriously needs to phone 111 for her paranoia treatment. She knows she will not win I’m told she has trouble sleeping at night I’m not surprised.


    • why do Ann and others think it is OK to be abusive towards someone excersing her right to justice
      Why does the editor keep allowing such abuse

  16. It’s time Kathy Bailes weeded out some of these unpleasant commentators.

    “Paranoia treatment”? “COFFIN DODGERS”? These are only two examples of the kind of extreme language used by people to describe those they disagree with. I have never read this sort of comment anywhere else, as I am not on social media – and having read IOTN comments, I’m glad that I’m not.

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