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Goodwin Sands SOS launches CrowdJustice appeal to apply for a judicial review in High Court over Port of Dover dredging

By Sam Lennon

Campaigners have not given up the fight to protect a part of our natural heritage.

Goodwin Sands SOS (Save Our Sands) is starting a CrowdJustice appeal through its website, to pay to apply for permission for a judicial review.

A verbal permission hearing is expected in London's High Court later this month although the exact date is not yet known.

The Goodwin Sands. Picture by Ian Goodban
The Goodwin Sands. Picture by Ian Goodban

The cost for this stage is expected to be thousands of pounds though GSSOS is negotiating fees with lawyers.

Campaign co-ordinator Joanna Thomson said: "Our legal team are confident that we have a strong case.

"However, as is inevitable, we need more funds to finance this hearing. Since we cannot proceed until we know that we can meet our liabilities, we are kick-starting our CrowdJustice appeal.

"We are also applying to Foundations for any available grants."

The Port of Dover wants to dredge a small part of the shifting sands, near Deal, for its major Dover Western Docks Revival development.

It has permission to dredge three million tonnes and argues that this is only for 0.22% of the Sands.

It stresses that the DWDR is vital for the economic well-being of the town.

The continuing progress on the Dover Western Docks Revival, as photographed last month (7011770)
The continuing progress on the Dover Western Docks Revival, as photographed last month (7011770)

GSSOS and its supporters have fought bitterly against this fearing harm to the environment and war graves in the area.

Despite its campaigning the government's Marine Management Organisations last July granted the Port a licence to do the work.

Mrs T homson said; "Going though the courts is the only option we have now although we are also trying to press Historic England to place strict conditions on the licence."

A spokesman for the Port of Dover said: "The Port of Dover is pleased to note that the application for permission to apply for Judicial Review in respect of the Marine Management Organisation’s decision to grant a marine licence in relation to the Goodwin Sands has been refused by the Planning Court.

"We are now looking forward to the next stage of developing our significant investment within the Port of Dover.”

GSSOS' CrowdJustice appeal is accessible via its website www.goodwinsandssos.org

If you are a UK taxpayer the group can accept donations through BACS and claim 20% Gift Aid.

To contribute this way email GSSOS goodwinsandssos@gmail.com

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