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Perhaps unsurprisingly, those opposing the scheme to re-launch the UK’s Manston Airport in Kent as a cargo hub are planning a legal battle to stop it.

The government, against the recommendations of its own examining authority (EA), this month granted a development consent order to allow the development of a cargo hub at the disused airfield.

However, the examining authority said the airport was not needed, would harm the local economy and impact the country’s climate change obligations.

Opponents of the scheme have launched a crowdfunding scheme on CrowdJustice, to raise £50,000 to fund a judicial review of the legality of the government’s decision.

If successful, the go-ahead could be quashed. The appeal totalled more than £40,000 in just three days.

The organisers of the fund stated: “The EA noted that, due to demand being met elsewhere, a new cargo airport is not needed, either locally or nationally.

“The EA said: ‘the levels of freight that the proposed development could expect to handle are modest and could be catered for at existing airports’, and that the would-be airport developer had ‘failed to demonstrate sufficient need for the proposed development’.

It added:The cargo-first development at Manston will handle the noisiest and most polluting type of aircraft, planes not even allowed at Heathrow. These are also the most expensive way of moving freight.”

Manston closed in 2014, having failed under three different owners and with losses of some £100m.

The judicial review will be represented by the legal team that fought the third runway at Heathrow.

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  • Steve

    July 21, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    excellent news, this are needs homes on brown field sites, not a multiple time failed airfield, it needs new vision and direction, not the same mistakes repeated, it needs greener ways to improve what is a high pollutant industry and area, not aircraft pollution, noise pollution, environmental disaster, 500feet above homes, schools, busy town, churches, oap homes, beaches. The government should not be allowed or its MPs to make desicions which go against all reports and recommendations, not to forget the facts and overwhelming evidence that its a failure as an airfield, the idea of homes and sustainable business would have provided significantly greater number of jobs without the environmental disaster an airport is, than an sirfield ever has here, look at the history of it. Wake up people, the government needs to be held to account as do the 2 MPs and local authority. Look at the money raised in 3 days to fight this, tells you all you need to know, the airport prawn sandwich brigade never got close to this in such a short period of time, well done all, the fight to keep it sustainable development and not an airfield ehich WILL fail again is alive and strong, do unless government fiddle the review, it will remain closed and become something this area needs, not an airfield. Stop living in the past.

    • Jen from Broadstairs

      July 22, 2020 at 8:35 am

      Steve the last thing we need is more houses in the area of Manston which will involve more traffic clogging the roads in around Ramsgate and Broadstairs. I live in Broadstairs and during the summer months when day trippers are driving down to the beaches, especially those in Broadstairs, the tailback of traffic can stretch all the way to the Lord of the Manor roundabout.
      We don’t want another new town in the area. It may well create jobs for those who will be living in the new housing but, it will kill the businesses in Ramsgate, Broadstairs and Margate, have you considered that? Westwood Cross has already seen a decline in the local town’s businesses any new out of town development will be the death of the town centres. I
      don’t know how long you’ve lived in the area but Manston was a thriving airport in the 1980’s when Yugotours used it to for package holidays to what was Yugoslavia. In fact my family flew on holiday from Manston to, what is now known as Slovenia in 1990. The only reason why it failed was that in 1991 the war in Yugoslavia started. I would rather have an airport rather than thousands of cars jamming and clogging our roads. If anyone wishes to reply to my comments I would appreciate it if they didn’t insult my intelligence or state of mind. I’m merely giving my opinion and experience having lived in the area since 1946.

      • Mike Pearce

        July 22, 2020 at 11:27 am

        I’ve lived in the area since 1943, Jen, and what is planned now is nothing like the Yugotours days. Rather like comparing a corner shop to a giant supermarket! Look at the number of daily cargo flights planned. Night flights are inevitable seeing the exemptions for late-arrivals, delayed flights etc. I agree there might be an arguable case for a small passenger airport, but someting of the size planned would be a disaster for the area. The inspectors’ report – and they spent months examining a colossal amount of expert evidence – was unequivocal in saying the DCO should be rejected. The Minister deputed to make the ruling was perverse in rejecting the findings. Perhaps one day we will discover what pressure was brought to bear on him to do so.

        • Alex Lennane

          July 22, 2020 at 11:28 am

          Hi Mike, Is there a plan for how many cargo flights they envisage? Where can I find that? Many thanks, Alex, The Loadstar

          • Mike Pearce

            July 22, 2020 at 11:38 am

            Hello Alex. A group called No NIght Flights over Ramsgate has a vast amount of detailed and well-researched information and could certainly come up with the figures you need. They have a Facebook page. Hope this helps.

          • Alex Lennane

            July 22, 2020 at 11:39 am

            Thanks Mike, much appreciated.

  • Nigel Hales

    July 22, 2020 at 2:48 am

    Great idea please go ahead it will create work

  • Hilary Scott

    July 29, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    If you read the DCO approval night flights are inevitable as there is nothing blocking apart from they can’t be “scheduled” which leaves it wide open to abuse and Freedman has got form on that. As for the house arguement if people haven’t noticed the houses that could have gone on Manston have been allocated elsewhere and we are getting them whatever happens at Manston.

  • Ian Scott

    July 29, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    Haven’t you seen the local plan ? Manston reopening won’t stop houses they have just been allocated elsewhere on Greenfield sites. People are just beginning to realise this when it’s too late. Birchington is set to double in size alone. So well done all you airport supporters.

  • Paul Fay

    July 29, 2020 at 8:06 pm

    It’s all a Trick