Manston Airport Change of Use Planning Appeal Public Inquiry – Day 3

Day three saw the following:

  • Oral submission by Sir Roger Gale MP (in opposition to the appeal), with cross examination by Mr King.
  • Oral submission by Rex Goodban (in opposition to the appeal).
  • Cross examination of Mr Allston (SHP) by Suzanne Ormsby (RSP)

Some events and opinion from our Twitter feed today. Scroll below this for today’s videos. All our videos are also available on our YouTube Channel, in a Playlist here:

  • Day 3 of the Inquiry just kicking off. Mr King requesting transport for site visit – time yet to be confirmed.
  • Technical issues so no microphones as Sir Roger Gale gives his evidence against the appellant SHP.
  • Five Councillors in attendance today to listen to evidence – the most there has been all week.
  • SRG now being cross examined by Mr King for SHP asking which RiverOak company he was speaking on behalf of.
  • SRG under cross exam says he has not seen RPS’ full business plans but would retire if RPS does not succeed with DCO.
  • Local farmer Rex Goodban now giving evidence opposing the appeal citing localism and policy EC4.
  • After a short break SHP are developing their case with Mr Allston giving additional evidence regarding planning issues.
  • Mr Allston is now being cross examined by Suzanne Ornsby for RSP.
  • Ms Ornsby arguing that policy EC4 seeks to protect aviation use only & SHP’s plans are contrary to EC4. Mr Allston agrees.
  • NPPF regards airports, generally, as nationally significant assets says Ms Ornsby. Mr Allston agrees.
  • Mr Allston thinks resumption of the airport is unlikely but cannot be ruled out.
  • Mr Allston for SHP says the outcome of whether or not the airport wil reopen has no bearing on the current Inquiry.
  • Mr Allston saying that the determination of the 4 buildings will not prejudice any reopened airport.
  • Ms Ornsby tying Mr Allston up in knots. Contradicting himself regarding the likelihood of airport reopening.
  • ‘Planning policy protects sites as long as there’s a reasonable prospect of being put back to original use’
  • Mr Mallon has just left the chamber.
  • Mr Allston citing other reasons that he gives less weight to EC4.
  • Ms Ornsby saying that neither Mr Allston, nor other SHP reps, are aviation experts & have not challenged aviation evidence.
  • Mr Allston says there is no realistic evidence at present to challenge & that it isn’t part of this particular Inquiry.
  • Mr Allston defends Gloags intention 2 run Manston as an airport but admits to not having produced any evidence to support.
  • Mr Allston says SHP have not challenged RSP’s aviation plans but this does not mean they agree with them.
  • Ms Ornsby says that the CAA revoked MSE’s license due to Gloag asset stripping the site. Mr Allston reluctantly agrees.
  • Ms Ornsby saying that as SHP haven’t challenged evidence it is deemed as accepted. Allston & King disagree.
  • The Inspector seemed to agree with Ms Ornsby but said he will await Mr King’s final submission.
  • Ms Ornsby now looking at the Local Plan & highlighting the level of investment it states is needed to grow the airport.
  • Mr Allston is arguing that there are other factors also stated as being required & that this isn’t relevant to this inquiry.
  • Ms Ornsby asking if Mr Allston was aware that RSP had made ‘substantial & material’ offers to buy the airport. No he wasn’t.
  • Mr Allston agrees that this fact is relevant to his evidence.
  • Now debating about the evidence for the need of Manston as a reliever airport. Mr Allston doesn’t think it relevant.
  • Now referencing Aviation Report, the weight given to it by SHP & the fact that RSPs dissection of it has gone unchallenged.
  • Moving onto the disputed progress of the DCO. Allston conceded that it had moved along somewhat since writing his evidence.
  • Breaking for lunch. Decision being taken about whether to continue cross exam this afternoon & postpone site visit until tomorrow.
  • Site visit to Manston now at 9.00 tomorrow then back to chambers for 11.30. Cross exam of Allston will continue this pm.
  • Afternoon session of Day 2 just resuming with Ms Ornsby (RSP) continuing to cross exam Mr Allston (SHP).
  • Limited weight should be attached to SP05, when updated in 2015, which refers to supporting the airport says Mr Allston.
  • Ms Ornsby establishing that the new emerging SP05 in LP which changes from aviation to houses is based on Aviation Report.
  • Allston indicating that it’s not just the Avia report driving development on the airport but general need for housing
  • Ornsby citing case of part of an empty building at Stansted being refused planning as it was protected 4 aviation only.
  • Mr Allston disagrees. Ms Ornsby presses the point but they cannot find common ground. She moves on.
  • Now debating SHP’s assertion that one of the reasons for wanting use of the 4 buildings is to prevent vandalism on site
  • Debating use for buildings and whether SHP have any potential occupiers or marketing. Also whether buildings are fit to use
  • Mr Allston maintains buildings are waterproof, secure & ready to use but have no potential clients or marketing because of #ManstonInquiry
  • If a DCO is applied for Mr Allston says SHP would make potential tenants aware of the risk of an impending CPO.
  • Mr Allston says that ‘the owner’ is not aware of any empty business units at Manston Business Park
  • Both RSP & SHP are to draw up a schedule of empty business units.
  • Mr Nunn, the Inspector, said that the results of this Inquiry will be published in 6-8 weeks
  • Mr Allston enters new evidence that two companies have approached SHP to use Building 2 but has no written evidence.
  • Common agreement theres surplus employment land (not buildings) so much so that some has been turned over for housing.
  • Ms Ornsby argues this shows there is not the demand from businesses.
  • Allston concedes his argument that other business premises are not of good quality also applies to 3 of 4 airport buildings.
  • Examining now whether use of buildings for non aviation use would impede or delay any DCO application.
  • Mr Allston saying these 4 buildings would not be essential & there is plenty of land for alternative provision of buildings.
  • Mr Allston says he assumes the 4 buildings will not be needed in the 2 years between the granting of a CPO & planes flying.
  • Ms Ornsby’s cross examination has finished. Now having a 10 minute break before Mr King re-examines Mr Allston.
  • Mr Nunn questioning who Ann Gloag is & what her role in this is. He knows nothing of the hierarchy of the various companies.
  • Mr Nunn is very confused about who the appellant actually is. Needs to watch TSC video!
  • Mr King now trying to explain but saying that Gloag has no controlling role in Manston.
  • Meeting resumes. Mr King saying that Musgrave & Cartner bought Manston from Gloag. No mention that she still has interest.
  • Ms Ornsby brings it to the Inspectors attention that Gloag does in fact have shares in & a possible JV with Lothian Shelf.
  • Today’s session is being drawn to a close. Details being arranged for tomorrow’s site visit at 9.00am.


Tomorrow’s session will commence with a site visit by the legal teams and the inspector at 9am, followed by a resumption of the session back in the TDC Offices around 11.30am, for discussion on possible allowances the parties will allow, and summations.











2 thoughts on “Manston Airport Change of Use Planning Appeal Public Inquiry – Day 3

  • March 16, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    A bit worried the planning inspector appears to be ignorant of the ownership structure under Anne Gloag. I hope he spends some time reading up on it before his decision!

    • March 18, 2017 at 12:48 am

      This was mentioned a few more times on Day 4. As such the inspector probably needs to be impartial beforehand and the less he knows the better. Otherwise any losing party could call the decision into question.

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