16 February 2021
The Green Party has welcomed the High Court’s decision to quash the government’s order to reopen Manston Airport, in Kent, as a global freight hub .
The High Court ruling is the first time a government Development Consent Order has been quashed by the courts. It means a decision on the future of the airport will need to be taken again at a future date.
Members of Thanet Green Party have been campaigning against the development of the airport, warning reopening it as a freight hub would be in conflict with the government’s commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
Green Party peer Natalie Bennett has now welcomed the High Court ruling but warned the government must start taking its climate commitments seriously.
"This High Court decision to quash the government's order to reopen Manston Airport is of course welcome, but it is not the end of the line yet for this disastrous plan.
"There is simply no excuse for reopening old airports in a climate emergency. Yet time and again, from opening new coal mines to building new roads, this government shows that, despite talking of a green recovery, it does not care about its own climate commitments.
"As the chair of this year's COP, it is extremely worrying that the Conservatives are willing to hold their promises, including to reach net zero by 2050, in such low regard.
"The Prime Minister would do well to learn from the campaigners and Thanet Green Party members who have made it clear that we cannot go back to the old ways of doing things, which rely on prioritising polluting and dirty businesses over the health of people and planet.
"If Boris Johnson was able to understand this, it would be clear to him that reopening old airports makes no sense whatsoever."
Deb Shotton, vice chair of Thanet Green Party, said there was increasing interest in the development of the former airfield for clean energies:
“The imposition of a new cargo hub would bring terrible harm to Thanet, East Kent and the planet. The promised jobs are, by the developer's own admission, diminishing by the minute.
“In the face of the devastation of the air industry by Covid, this proposed hub becomes nothing more than a vanity project for the egos involved. Its long-term failure is inevitable.
“It needs to be put to bed now, once and for all, and the land used for the promotion of clean energies. Green jobs in a growth industry would be far more beneficial for Thanet and beyond.”