Manston Airport: Jenny Dawes’ latest Court of Appeal challenge fails as RiverOak’s Tony Freudmann speaks of his relief

The Court of Appeal has once again rejected a bid to challenge the reopening of Manston Airport - with bosses at the site saying they can now move ahead “with certainty” on the plans.

In a judgement handed down today, Ramsgate resident Jenny Dawes’ crowdfunded appeal for a judicial review against the decision to consent the site a Development Consent Order (DCO) was dismissed.

The judgement was made at the Court of Appeal
The judgement was made at the Court of Appeal

Speaking after the decision, Ms Dawes said: “I remain firmly of the view that the government's decision to proceed with Manston Airport, in the face of all the expert evidence to the contrary and the worsening climate change crisis, is nonsensical.”

Bosses at RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP), the company which owns the site, says it expects no further legal challenges and will be meeting with investors next week as plans finally get under way.

RSP says it has investors willing to pump £800 million into turning the airfield into what it hopes will be a commercially successful venture - creating, in the long term, thousands of jobs for east Kent.

Director Tony Freudmann said: “The first thing we need to do is revise the masterplan as so much time has been lost with the legal cases. Then there will be detailed survey and design work.

The former Manston Airport. Picture: Chris Davey.
The former Manston Airport. Picture: Chris Davey.

“We would hope construction will begin in around 18 months and take another 18 months to complete. So that brings us to an opening in 2027 or early 2028.

“We have always remained confident in our proposals and unshaken in our belief that we can create something very special at Manston which delivers both important capacity for UK air freight – and a sustainable economic boost for east Kent.

“Although the past seven years have been intensely frustrating at times, the fact that we have gone all the way to the Court of Appeal means no stone has been left unturned in the examination of our proposals.

“We can now deliver our plans knowing with certainty that we have demonstrated, beyond question, that Manston has a vital role to play in addressing the airspace capacity issues blighting London and the South East – and that this historic and strategically important airport can reinvent itself once again to meet the nation’s needs in the global marketplace.”

Tony Freudmann of Manston Airport owners RiverOak
Tony Freudmann of Manston Airport owners RiverOak

The airport just last week marked the tenth anniversary of its closure.

Since then, it has changed hands a number of times but, since 2019, been owned by RSP which has been planning to revive it ever since.

It hopes if it proves successful as a cargo-focused airport, there is the potential for commercial flights in years to come.

Ms Dawes added: “We always knew it would be difficult. We may not have succeeded in quashing the second Manston Airport DCO but, importantly, this decision has clarified the rules and ensured a modicum of fairness for future campaigners where the Secretary of State relies on new evidence that has not been consulted on when redetermining a DCO application.”

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More