The Port of Dover says millions of pounds of investment and hundreds of jobs will be at risk if it can't dredge the material it wants from the Goodwin Sands.
The work will help expand the Western Docks and the port says getting sand from further away will massively increase the carbon footprint of the project.
Opponents of the scheme say they will ask for a judicial review if the Government does give the go-ahead later this year.
As Iain McBride reports.
Iain spoke to Neil Wiggins the Community Director at the Port of Dover, Bryony Chapman, a Marine Policy Officer from the Kent Wildlife Trust and Joanna Thomson from the Save Our Sands Campaign.