Government delays decision on airport near Kent protected sites

The Department for Transport has extended by four months a deadline for deciding whether to grant permission for Manston Airport in Kent to be reopened.

In a ministerial statement, junior transport minister Nusrat Ghani said the delay was necessary “to enable further information on a range of issues” to be provided by applicant RiverOak Strategic Partners and other interested parties.

Ghani did not specify which issues require further information.

However, in written evidence submitted last year nature regulator Natural England said it was “not satisfied” that the plans to reopen the airport - mainly for air freight - would have “no adverse effects” on the integrity of the Thanet Coast and Sandwich Bay special protected areas, or of the Sandwich Bay special area of conservation. 

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