Thanet District Council issue update on Manston Airport and responses to RiverOak from Avia Solutions

Thanet District Council have issued a comprehensive explanation of the current status of Manston Airport in the form of Questions and Answers on their website.

They have outlined the timeline of the airport from it’s closure to where we are now and also looking towards the future.

There are also links (see below) to the Avia Report, Avia’s response to RiverOak and their presentation to the Council. There is also a response from the TDC Chief Executive to Bircham Dyson Bell who act for RiverOak.

Here are some key points – you can see the whole text here:

Q. What is the current status of the Stone Hill Park planning application?
The application is currently being assessed by the council, but there is a significant amount of additional information to be submitted to support the application. Once received, further consultation will be undertaken.

Q. What does this (the result of the Avia Report) mean?
It means that the council does not have sufficient evidence to continue to designate the site ‘for aviation use only’ within its Local Plan.

Officers will now recommend within the new Local Plan that the Manston Airport site is designated for mixed-use development.

Q. Couldn’t the council ignore this advice and still choose to designate it as an airport anyway?
The council’s Local Plan has to be approved by a Planning Inspector – an independent planning inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. The Planning Inspector will only approve a Local Plan which is based on evidence.

If the Local Plan is not approved, this would further delay the Local Plan process. This would leave the district open to significant risk, without the ability to control development or ensure the provision of infrastructure and services alongside development.

Q. How will the Avia report be considered by the council? Will there be an opportunity for members of the public to comment on it?
The Local Plan will be considered by Councillors at Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Monday 21 November and by Cabinet on Thursday 8 December.

Cabinet can then propose that the Local Plan goes to public consultation for a period of six weeks in the New Year. The Avia report is part of the evidence of the Local Plan.

Q. Why weren’t RiverOak selected as an Indemnity Partner?
American investment firm, RiverOak failed to provide adequate financial evidence in order to demonstrate that they could become an Indemnity Partner for the council.

Q. What is a DCO?
A DCO or Development Consent Order is the means of obtaining permission for developments categorised as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP). The process is administered by the Planning Inspectorate (PINS).

Q. What happens now?
Thanet District Council will continue to prepare its Local Plan which sets out policies and proposals that will be used to guide decisions and investment on development and regeneration. It will help make sure the district is developed in the right way.

The process for producing a Local Plan is set out in national law and regulations. The Local Plan has to be submitted to the Secretary of State for approval. A public examination will be held by an independent Planning Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Further Links on that page

Copy of the Manston Viability Report:

FAQ from Avia:

Response from Avia to RiverOak:

The Avia Presentation to TDC:

A Letter from TDC’s Chief Executive to Bircham Dyson Bell: