DCO Application for Manston Airport Accepted for Examination

*** PINs decision is in ***

The Planning Inspectorate have announced their decision regarding RSP’s submission to reopen Manston Airport and, as we had expected, the application for the Development Consent Order has been accepted for examination!

Also available here: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/wp-content/ipc/uploads/projects/TR020002/TR020002-002548-TR020002%20Notification%20of%20Decision%20to%20Accept%20Application%20FINAL.pdf

This now triggers a structured sequence of events, lasting up to 15 months, before we find out whether or not the DCO will be granted and Manston Airport reopened as a cargo hub.

It starts with the publishing on the PINs website of –

  • the acceptance decision, the application documents submitted by RSP, the Adequacy of Consultation Representations received from the relevant local authorities.
  • the opening and closing dates during which individuals and groups will be able to register to become an Interested Party.

Pre-examination Stage

This stage typically lasts about 3 months

  • RSP are responsible for notifying the relevant local authorities, all statutory parties and persons with an interest in the land.
  • RSP are responsible for finding, and funding, a suitable venue for the Preliminary Meeting and any examination hearings. It must be large enough and close to the airport site and agreed with the Planning Inspectorate.
  • An Examining Authority will be appointed with between one and five Inspectors. If necessary, a specialist external assessor can be appointed to assist them in technical matters.
  • Individuals and groups will now be able to register to become an Interested Party by completing a relevant representation form. More information here –https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Advice-note-8-2v3.pdf
  • All Interested Parties will be invited to attend a Preliminary Meeting run and chaired by the Examining Authority. This is a procedural meeting to set dates, hearings etc not for discussing the merits of the application itself.

The day after the Pre-Examination period ends the Examination period will commence.

Examination Stage

The Planning Inspectorate has up to 6 months to complete the examination of RSP’s application.

  • During this stage careful consideration will be given by the Examining Authority to all the important and relevant matters including the written submissions of all interested parties and any supporting evidence submitted.
  • Registered Interested Parties will be invited to provide more details of their views in writing.
  • While the main method of examining an application is through written representations there are three types of public hearings which may be held.
    1. Open Floor Hearings – any registered party can ask for an open floor hearing.
    2. Issue Specific Hearings – deals with specific matters e.g. noise or environmental issues.
  1. Compulsory Acquisition Hearings – this deals with the transfer of the site from SHP to RSP.

All hearings are held in public and anyone can attend.

Recommendation and Decision Stage

  • After the Examination is concluded the Planning Inspectorate will then have up to 3 months to prepare a Report which will include a Recommendation for the Secretary of State.
  • The Secretary of State will then have a further 3 months to decide whether to grant or refuse development consent.

Post decision

Once a decision has been issued by the relevant Secretary of State, there is a six week period in which the decision may be challenged in the High Court in a legal process known as a Judicial Review.


You can follow the developments on this page or on the PINs website –

One thought on “DCO Application for Manston Airport Accepted for Examination

  • August 14, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    If two of the major London airports are closed simultaneously, as recent events show is a distinct possibly, then the consequences could be not only dangerous from a safety angle, but would also cause a lack of confidence in the UK as an economy.
    To have the likes of Manston as a fall-back is extremely prudent.
    Once the likes of Manston is gone, then, to quote a retail sound-bite, it is gone.
    It could also be useful as a military and national defence contingency.

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