Labour MP and Shadow Minister for (International Trade) Exports, Dame Nia Griffith, visited Thanet yesterday (May 15).
The Welsh politician who has served as Member of Parliament for Llanelli since 2005 has been the Shadow Minister for International Trade since 2021.
During the day she visited the Manston airport site and met with landowners RSP.
Tony Freudmann of RSP said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Shadow Minister for Exports, Dame Nia Griffith MP, to Manston.
“Following a tour of the airfield we discussed the important economic contribution an air freight hub at Manston will make to the UK’s export markets – meeting the needs of the nation’s just-in-time exporters, relieving pressure on the London Airports System, making innovative use of new technologies and working towards becoming a net carbon neutral operation.”
Thanet Labour Party leader Rick Everitt said Dame Nia Griffith’s visit was not related to policy regarding the development of Manston airport and was to learn about fuel technology developments.
He said: “Senior Labour politicians are engaging with organisations up and down the country in preparation for government. In this case, the shadow minister was interested in learning more about developments in fuel technology.
“Dame Nia Griffith is not part of the shadow transport team, her visit wasn’t related to policy in regard to Manston and it shouldn’t be interpreted as such.
“We await the outcome of the judicial review into the development consent order, which has important implications not just for Manston but for the local plan review as a whole. Nothing has changed or can change until that is resolved.”
The airport site is currently the subject of a Judicial Review hearing in July.
The legal challenge against the government’s decision to give the go ahead for the development of Manston airport will take place at the Royal Courts of Justice.
The challenge, brought by Ramsgate resident Jenny Dawes, aims to quash the development consent order granted by government for RiverOak Strategic Partners’ (RSP) Manston airport project. Ms Dawes raises concerns about the impact on the environment and Ramsgate’s tourism industry and that the Planning Inspectorate had recommended that development consent should not be granted.
In January a Judicial Review application was denied by the High Court but Ms Dawes then made a successful application on some points to have that decision reviewed at an oral hearing,.
RSP wants to create aviation at the site with a cargo hub and associated business. Construction is planned to be phased over 15 years and include 19 freight stands and four passenger stands for aircraft as well as warehousing and fuel storage.
The airport closed in 2014.