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RiverOak Strategic Partners

DfT decision not to contest the Judicial Review – what does it mean?

Published on 2nd December, 2020

Naturally the Department for Transport’s decision not to contest the Judicial Review is disappointing, although it may in fact save time. It is a feature of the DCO process that, in order for more information to be provided by the Secretary of State on the reasons for his decision, the decision must be re-taken, and so the project is effectively back to the final decision stage.

We faced a similar situation two years ago when we withdrew our DCO application, to provide additional information, before successfully resubmitting it for acceptance. It’s important that this is done correctly, in order that Manston can deliver on its full potential, and we welcome the Government’s decision being put on as robust a basis as possible.

RSP remains confident in our proposals and of the increasing need for Manston to support the UK’s freight handling capabilities, post-Brexit and to aid the economic recovery from COVID-19. We will make additional representations, when invited to do so, with evidence from across the last eighteen months (since the DCO examination stage closed) – and look forward to publication of the Secretary of State’s comprehensive assessment of the basis for granting the DCO, early in 2021, so that we may begin works to restore the airport to operational use.

In the meantime, we continue the CAA airspace change process to determine the future flightpaths for Manston and we have, this week, also reached agreement for Manston to be used as a temporary Customs outpost, until July 2021.

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