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 It was withdrawn in early May after PINS’ requested further information about parts of the application.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.”


    • Well Marva would you rather have 10,000 more houses next to the 40,000 houses. At least it will provide skilled jobs for people rather than an eyesore of a building site for up to twenty years!!!

      • I don’t understand your sentiment, nor your arithmetic.
        A 24×7 cargo hub a kilometer or two from a large town, hospital, schools makes no sense whatsoever.
        And where do you get 10000 houses from? The govt requires that Thanet supplies about 17000 houses ovet the next 15 years. If some are not built at Manston, then (as folk have discovered) they will be built on bits of green space in Clifsend, Birchi gton and so on.

      • I’d much, much rather see houses/flats on a brownfield site than piecemeal in the countryside. Terraces, squares and low-rise flats would save space, so you could get more in. If it was okay for the Georgians, why not?

      • And with all the new houses they will require transport & infrastructure! At the moment I have to allow 4 hours to get to Heathrow or Gatwick – I believe we do need smaller hub airports – but no goodbye without transport links to it ? We have noticed aircraft have started flying over us at Whitstable lately – not sure to where ? Maybe Southend airport ? I don’t like the thought of aircraft flying low over our lovely seaside towns – but gridlock to Heathrow & Gatwick when I have to catch flights for conferences is str awful. Jobs are needed in Thanet – not loads of houses and more big shops –

        • I don’t suppose Jules Serkins means to imply that she would be pleased if RSP got its way and began to develop a cargo hub just outside Ramsgate. After all, she doesn’t like the thought of “aircraft flying low over our lovely seaside towns”.

          Perhaps she could catch a train or two to Gatwick or Heathrow.

  1. We need a good airport especially in manston will create lots of jobs and will be great for local people who want to travel abroad instead of going to Gatwick Luton and standstead ,no do not need thousands of houses in manston,nor do we need a new swimming pool there is lots of them around ,no we definitely need the airport on our doorstep.

    • Unfortunately, even if it reopens, passengers won’t be able to fly from it, because it will be a cargo airport.
      What jobs? According to RSP’s own literature, it will be a highly automated operation. It will employ fewer people than when it failed last time.

  2. All of the arguments in favour of reopening the airport suffer from the same flawed assumption; that it will be successful. Look at the evidence. The airport was open from 1999-2014 and was a colossal failure. It failed to attract operators, failed to create more than a handful of jobs and lost over a hundred million pounds for successive owners. Only a fool would ignore this.

    • One has to wonder what attracts the struck-off solicitor and his mates to a failed airport in the middle of 500 acres of prime development land in the SE.

      • You hit the nail on it’s head there !
        The evidence shared through several different professional reports over the years shows that Manston is just not viable whatsoever. The freight hub is not a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) as there is already room to grow at the East Midlands airport which furnishes 89% of the Country within a 4 hour drive.
        Why would they possibly need one here in the corner hours away from anywhere by road? It is being designed to fail once again and once it does then there will be no other option then houses, only by then the struck-off solicitor and two local MP’s will have their pension pots sorted ! Wake up Thanet and understand what is happening with this DCO application. Surely PINS will see through this and strike it down before long but there are plenty more corrupt politicians now than there has ever been to get things sorted against the public will.

  3. Fraudmann&co which includes sir Roger Gale MP don’t give a monkeys about anyone but themselves…look back on their history’s…they are as bent as a three speed walking stick

  4. You are all short sighted!
    I live in Dover which will soon be at a standstill including 20 miles of the M20 with standing lorries.
    The lorries should be left on the trains as they come through the tunnel but the our bridges are too low!
    So Manston as a Cargo hub is the answer…..i use to live in Birchington and work in Ramsgate so i do know all that area.

  5. How is your suggestion a feasible solution? What would happen to any freight brought to Manston? It’d go onto a lorry there instead of at Dover, wouldn’t it?

    Are the people on this thread who actually want a cargo hub airport at Manston “short sighted”, or just the people who don’t want one?

  6. Mansion is an airport and should remain an airport I was born in Ramsgate and like most local people we think it should never have been sold to Ann Gloag for a £1 so her and her friends could take are airport to fill thier pockets

    • The airport was up for sale for 22 months (brokered by PwC). On the international market.
      Anyone could have bought it, including the struck-off solicitor Tony Freudmann, one time director of the failed Manston Airport, and now a director of RSP.
      It might have been ‘our’ airport, but not enough of ‘us’ flew from it, so it went bust.
      What’s changed?

  7. Manston Airport no longer exists. There is no point guessing what proportion of local residents want a local airport. RSP’s alleged plans are not for a small local airport with a few flights a day and incurring large debts. What they say they want is a cargo hub airport with 24/7 flights- more like Heathrow. I should think that many Ramsgate residents would want to move out if this ever came to pass.

    A cargo hub airport’s effects on the town would be drastic, damaging and impossible to ignore.

Comments are closed.