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15 August 2018

Manston Airport DCO is first to be accepted for examination

Bircham Dyson Bell is acting for the promoters of the first application for a nationally significant airport project, which on 14 August was accepted for examination by the Planning Inspectorate. Our clients, RiverOak Strategic Partners Ltd, are seeking to reopen Manston Airport in east Kent primarily as a cargo airport; the airport closed in 2014.

Because the project would increase the number of cargo flights that the airport will be capable of handling by at least 10,000 per year, it is classed as a ‘nationally significant infrastructure project’ and must be consented by means of a Development Consent Order (DCO). This is the same process that a third runway at Heathrow will follow, although its application is not expected until 2020. The Manston project will therefore be of wide interest as it will consider issues such as noise and airspace change in a DCO context for the first time.

Angus Walker, who is leading the legal team, said:

‘We are very pleased for our clients to have reached this milestone, which is another Planning Act 2008 “first” for Bircham Dyson Bell. The project will provide a significant increase in the UK’s capacity for international trade.’

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