Registration to submit views on the Development Consent Order for the Manston airport site now open

Manston airport site

Registration is now open for people who want to comment on a Development Consent Order application submitted by the firm hoping to bring aviation back to the Manston airport site.

RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) resubmitted its application for the DCO on July 16 after withdrawing a previous submission.

The DCO seeks development consent and compulsory acquisition powers over the land. It is the means of obtaining permission for developments categorised as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP). This includes energy, transport, water and waste projects.

The DCO application was originally submitted to the government Planning Inspectorate (PINS) at the beginning of April. It was withdrawn in early May after PINS’ requested further information about parts of the application. These related to funding, to the categorisation of the project as being of national significance, and to aspects of the supporting environmental statements.

The Planning Inspectorate said its concerns included an absence of sufficient information about whether the development constituted a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP)  and the adequacy of the Transport Assessment and the Funding Statement.

The application was accepted for the pre-examination stage by the Planning Inspectorate in August.

The process

Registration for interested parties is now open and runs until 11.59pm on October 8.

Once registered as an Interested Party a person can make a Relevant Representation. A Relevant Representation is a summary of a person’s views on an application, made in writing.

An Examining Authority is also appointed at the Pre-examination stage, and all Interested Parties will be invited to attend a preliminary meeting, run and chaired by the Examining Authority.

Although there is no statutory timescale for this stage of the process, it usually takes approximately three months from the formal notification and publicity of an accepted application.

Once the application moves on to Phase 4 (Examination) there is a maximum of 12 months for the Secretary of State to make a decision on whether to approve the DCO to reopen Manston airport.

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

To register as an interested party click here

RSP plans

RSP’s plan for Manston includes an international cargo hub, as well as offering passenger flights.

RSP has a four phase plan across 15 years to create 19 new air cargo stands, update the runway, four new passenger aircraft stands and updated passenger terminal, refurbished fire station and new fire training area, aircraft recycling facility, flight training school, hangars for aircraft related business, highway improvements and the creation of a museum quarter.

Stone Hill Park

The SHP plans

The site is owned by Stone Hill Park (SHP) which has submitted an enhanced application to Thanet council for homes, business and leisure to be developed at the airport site.

The documents, published on the Thanet council website, outline plans for  46,000 sq m of advanced/hi-tech employment space which SHP say will provide up to 2,000 direct jobs with 9,000 further jobs created over the course of the project, including construction and jobs in the supply chain for the wider area.

Plans include a heritage airport with an operational runway; public parks an East Kent Sports Village with facilities including Kent’s first 50m Olympic sized swimming pool and a WaveGarden surf lake; schools, a food store, cafes/restaurants, a 120-bed hotel and a health centre.

A decision on the application is yet to be made. The documents can be viewed at, click through to the planning portal and enter reference OL/TH/18/0660

SHP director Trevor Cartner, says the firm will contest the DCO application ‘rigorously.

He added: “We respect this decision and believe that it provides an opportunity to resolve things once and for all.

“By advancing to the examination stage, this will not only end uncertainty for us, but also the people of Thanet for whom the Manston issue has dragged on for too long.”