Manston Airport Judicial Review
I think it’s generally known that Ramsgate resident Jenny Dawes (The Applicant) is seeking a Judicial Review (JR) of the Secretary of State’s decision to approve a Development Consent Order (DCO) for Manston Airport despite the Examining Authority’s recommendation that the application be refused.
The application for a JR has to be made on or before Thursday 20 August. The procedure is that the Applicant has to send a pre-application protocol letter to the Secretary of State notifying him of their intention to seek a Judicial Review and outlining the reasons for their concerns. This letter was sent by Harrison Grant, the Applicant’s solicitors, on 24 July and a response was received from the Treasury Solicitor, acting for the Secretary of State, on Friday 7 August.
In their response the Treasury Solicitors rebutted the Applicant’s statement of grounds which in my experience is a common technique used in the legal profession while they try and think of what to do! The Applicant’s legal team will be carefully considering the letter from the Treasury Solicitor over the next two weeks before deciding the legal grounds for the application for Judicial Review.
Judicial Review is a remedy available in the Administrative Court (part of the High Court). It is a remedy designed to keep a check on any public body carrying out a public decision-making function. It might be the Home Office, one of the Upper Tribunals, the Prison Service, a Local Authority or an Ombudsman, for example. In this case it is the Secretary of State for Transport. The Court has wide-ranging powers. It can quash (undo) a decision. It can grant an injunction, or even award damages. What the Court is looking for, in order for it to grant a remedy, is illegality, irrationality or gross unreasonableness. In effect a decision which any rational person could not justify on the basis of the evidence.
In the meantime, the crowdfunding appeal launched via CrowdJustice is edging towards its target of £75,000 to cover the legal costs should the JR be given leave to proceed. If you are a local resident who feels you are adversely affected by the DCO you may wish to consider contributing to the appeal by going to the appeal site.