News comes today, on the same day we were expecting a decision whether the Development Consent Order submitted by RiverOak Strategic Partners Ltd would be accepted for review by the Planning Inspectorate, that they have temporarily withdrawn their application in a letter dated 4th May 2018.
RSP on their site, give little other information (http://rsp.co.uk/news/temporary-withdrawal-of-application/)
RiverOak Strategic Partners has temporarily withdrawn its DCO application in respect of Manston Airport. This is not uncommon with DCOs and RSP is in dialogue with the Planning Inspectorate in order that the application can be resubmitted as soon as possible.
The news sees yet another disappointing delay in the long campaign to return aviation to Manston and only a few days after representatives for RSP were clearly confident over the application and giving no suggestions there might be a delay at a private meeting.
It remains to be seen if the explanation of the reasons for the withdrawal will be made public and what processes a resubmitted application would have to be repeated and what effect it would have on the project timescale. Obviously we would fully expect a full explanation to be made public and will publish it when it is released.
It is also noted that on the Planning Inspectorate site, it does not yet suggest this is a temporary withdrawal but simply states “The application has been withdrawn” along with a copy of the letter submitted to them. https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/south-east/manston-airport/
Interestingly, earlier in the morning, Stone Hill Park had released a Press Release detailing they had lodged enhanced proposals for their development with Thanet District Council on 3rd May. The details of this haven’t yet been published on the Planning website, so it is unclear at this stage what the differences are in this revision after their consultation process, but we understand it includes an increased level of housing on the site “up to 3,700 homes” from the previously suggested 2,500 and includes their historic aviation area.
We also wait to see what other statements or progress will be made by other parties interested in the site.