The Secretary of State granted the application and made the Manston Airport Development Consent Order 2022. Michael Humphries QC and Isabella Tafur, both of Francis Taylor Building, were instructed by BDB Pitmans on behalf of the applicant.
The application for development consent was made on 17 July 2018 and the examination was completed on 9 July 2019. The report of the Examining Authority (ExA) recommended that development consent be refused for a number of reasons, including that the need and benefits of the project did not outweigh its impacts. The Secretary of State disagreed with the ExA and granted development consent for the application on 9 July 2020. On 15 February 2021, however, the High Court quashed that decision, following the Secretary of State’s consent to judgement on the single ground that his decision letter did not give sufficient reasons for disagreeing with ExA’s recommendation.
There then followed an extended period of time during which the Secretary of State invited several rounds of further representations from the applicant and other parties and, indeed, appointed an Independent Assessor to consider various issues in the light of the additional information.
Following the re-determination process, the Secretary of State has, once again, disagreed with the recommendation of the ExA and has granted development consent. The decision letter considers various issues, including: national and local policy, need, socio-economic and other benefits, climate change, noise, air quality and highways. The Manston Airport DCO comprises some 43 articles and 10 schedules and can be found here. The DCO grants development consent for the authorised development and also grants powers of compulsory acquisition in relation to various outstanding interests in land within the Order Limits.