Update on RiverOak’s Development Consent Order Application (April 28th 2016)

A report from the Save Manston Airport group some of whom attended a meeting at Cliffsend on Thursday 28th April where RiverOak’s Tony Freudmann spoke.

“Latest Manston Airport Development Consent Order (DCO) news:
On Thursday 28th April Tony Freudmann of RiverOak (RO) addressed a very congenial crowd of around 50 people at Cliffsend Parish Hall. It was a very factual account, acknowledging that, whilst RO were initially very disappointed that the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) with Thanet District Council (TDC) didn’t go ahead, they accept that the possible risk perceived by TDC, (that of being involved in a multi-million pound project such as Manston Airport, despite the fact that RO were indemnity partners), was too much for a small district council to cope with.

RiverOak are now working with HM Planning Inspectorate (PINS) with regular meetings and discussions, all of which are minuted and can be read on the PINS website, to develop and validate RiverOak’s plans for the Development Consent Order (DCO). Manston Airport is being considered as being of national importance, therefore attaching the title of NSIP (Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project) to the DCO. RO’s aim is to achieve acceptance of their DCO application by PINS by the end of 2016. Acceptance is not the end of the process but will be a big step towards securing the full DCO.

Specialist legal, planning and environmental teams were appointed in January and have made significant progress. However they are so far not being allowed access to the airport by the present owners, as is legally required. During their last conference call with the Planning Inspectorate RiverOak raised this matter. The Planning Inspectorate have power under the Planning Act 2008 to order site access.

RO anticipate the Manston project will over time involve capital expenditure in excess of £200Million as it will involve major reconstruction and additional work on the airport site, to enable Manston to have the capacity to handle 10,000 freight movements a year, as well as improving the site access and infrastructure around Spitfire corner. RO will also liaise with both the Spitfire and RAF museums before final plans are in place. RO anticipate costs of at least £15Million to replace all the basic infrastructure removed by the present owners.

Very extensive environmental assessment will be undertaken to look into effects on air quality, noise pollution, water quality, wildlife, etc. The scope of the environmental study is expected to provide the Isle of Thanet with the most thorough health check of the centre of the island that has ever been produced to date.

Employing local people will be a priority and involving educational programmes is part of the submission. Manston is anticipated to be roughly comparable with East Midlands Airport in the future, which is mostly freight but with passenger flights too. There the current figures are that the airport supports a total of 6,000 jobs on an annual turnover of approximately £100 Million.
RiverOak intend to hold pre-consultation(s) in June or July, with a full formal consultation to be held in the late summer. Local residents will have their chance to express opinions and these will be listened to and acted upon.”