Hundreds attend No Night Flights public meeting in Ramsgate

The meeting on Friday Photo No Night Flights

A public meeting in Ramsgate organised by the No Night Flights campaign group attracted some 400 residents on Friday (September 7).

The gathering at Chatham and Clarendon school was to discuss the Development Consent Order application submitted by Riveroak Strategic Partners (RSP) and approved for pre-submission by the Planning Inspectorate and the process for lodging views with the Planning Inspectorate.

Registration is now open for people who want to comment on the DCO which 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.

RSP wants to gain the DCO for a compulsory purchase of the Manston airport site so it can create an international cargo hub with the possibility of passenger flights. Plans submitted to Thanet council by site owners Stone Hill Park are for housing, business and infrastructure on the land.

Campaigners from the No Night Flights group, formed when the airport was in operation to object to aircraft using the Manston site during the night and very early hours of the morning, talked about the history of the situation for newer residents while some of those who were present on the isle before the closure of Manston airport in 2014 shared their concerns.

Photo Karen Constantine

Campaigners also talked about expert aviation insight into the viability of a business based on cargo flights at Manston, transport and haulage issues, lack of access to fuel on the Manston site, impact on tourism and health and PINS’ concerns raised at the first DCO application submission, which was withdrawn in May and resubmitted in July, about RSP’s financial viability.

Paul Luxmoore

Guest speaker Paul Luxmoore, Executive headteacher of the Coastal Academies Trust said: “It breaks my heart to think of our school children if their sleep gets disturbed. I guarantee that will affect their education. And if it affects their education it will affect their life choices.”

Anne Marie Nixey, of NNF, said: “With 400 plus people turning out on a Friday night, it is obvious there is a huge groundswell of local people keen to see the plans for the airport put away once and for all.

“Anti airport groups have sprung up across social media since the meeting, amplifying these voices. We ask that PINS and indeed the Department for Transport  to listen.”

RSP has previously said it is not looking to carry out night flights but wants ‘flexibility.’

RSP director Tony Freudmann (pictured) said: “We have to model the worst case scenario (in the documentation), which is what we did. We are looking for some flexibility but we are not looking at scheduled night flights.

“The problem with cargo flights is they do sometimes run late and if you have a plane with flowers or fresh produce you can’t tell them to go away, they need to land or they will lose their cargo.

“That is not a regular thing and we just need flexibility for that scenario. The old 106 restrictions meant there was no need for night flights apart from exceptional cases and we are not likely to need anything different.”

Save Manston Airport association (SMAa) and Kent Needs Manston Airport (KNMA) are also preparing  submissions to comment on the DCO.

Members of these groups say a commercial airport of freight and passenger flights will bring investment for infrastructure, new jobs and regeneration.

The DCO 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

Manston airport – planes or houses?

Riveroak Strategic Partners

The RSP proposals are for a project to create an air freight hub with passenger services and business aviation.

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.

The cost of putting the infrastructure for Manston in place is now said to be in the region of £479 million, with other expenses, such as for a CPO, to be in addition to that sum.

Stone Hill Park

The SHP plans

Site owners Stone Hill Park (SHP) have submitted an enhanced application 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.

The documents can be viewed at, click through to the planning portal and enter reference OL/TH/18/0660


  1. Wow 400 against as apposed to at least 10,000 in favour of an airport. Paul Luxmoore, Executive headteacher of the Coastal Academies Trust possibly isn’t aware of the inward and outward flight hours. Yes even Heathrow and Gatwick have the occasional night flights However, RSP do not want night flights. In their submission they have to allow for the worst case scenario when submitting that application. Would these 400 deny an emergency landing one wonders.

    • 400 at the hastily arranged meeting, not bad at all. How many at the SMAa BBQs? A dozen pensioners at best, salivating over Freudmannn and Gale’s fairy tales.
      As for the 10,000 in favour you mention, I think you’ll find that was based on a poll sent around the many aviation sites online around the world. So 10,000 from the world’s population is laughable. In fact, the only official poll that’s taken place about Manston airport was instructed by TDC and conducted by the well respected Moray pole specialists. The question was “do you want night flights?”. This was put to the Ramsgate residents and then Thanet as a whole. The outcome was 73% of Ramsgate residents voted against night flights and the rest of Thanet voted slightly less. As RSP’s main plan is for a 24/7 cargo hub with chartered night flights all night, you can be assured that most people in Thanet do not want the airport.

    • Where are the 10000 for? They’ve never produced 1% of that for any meeting in public that I’ve seen. More fiction from a pro supporter. You spend weeks if not months organising your smaa fund raisers and barbeques and get 50 to 60 people attend. Pictures taken at these events support this. NNF advertised with a flyer drop for 3 to 4 days before the meeting and get 400 plus concerned residents show up. More than any public showing me the prob airport groups EVER! There is a strong voice building against the airport now and PINS cannot ignore it. Actions speak louder than words and over 400 people at very short notice is a seriously impressive action indeed.

      • On a recent poll, 91% of a Margate Ward were in favour of Manston remaining an active Airport. There were several thousand votes.
        I think this proves something.

        • First of all, what poll, by whom and when? All it proves is that they can’t see or hear the aircraft and that they don’t give a shit about the health damage and pollution issues this will bring to the area. There are UKIP members in Ramsgate who don’t want a noisy air-freight cargo hub. The garden town plan includes an airfield for heritage planes and light aircraft too. Really!

        • In a recent poll in my household, 100% of were in favour of no airport.
          That says something, too.
          In yet another poll, various people such as “Nick D. Radar” and “B.Iggles” signed. I don’t quite know what that says.

    • Day flights also affect children’s learning. But every cargo airport requires night flights.

      Is Tony Freudmann a trustworthy source of information?

    • I spoke to Alex Hallet of BDB the legal team representing RSP for the DCO and was told by him there will definitely be night flights and it would be however many the business needed. You do not put in for permission for the amount RSP have for the odd delayed flight. You do not need permission for emergencies or humanitarian flights .

  2. Just to point out Tony Freudman and Roger Gale are at pains to tell us over that tbey don’t want scheduled night flights. Their night flights will all be chartered nighg flights and tbey plan to have thousands of them. Don’t be duped they are basing their whole plans around night flights and most of the jobs will be automated.
    Lastly wanting tbe airport instead of houses is not on the cards. The houses are coming that’s for certain.

  3. Freudmann and SRG have been telling porkies to the local residents all along. It is obvious now the submitted application has gone in and been accepted for scrutiny. The public can see this for themselves. 24/7 flights are real and of which would be the only chance to make the airport anywhere near viable this far away from the network. But unfortunately for them there is still unused capacity for freight at a number of other UK airports, and those airports are directly linked to the whole of the country within 4 hours of any airliner arriving. Why on earth would any of those established companies want to move to Manston which is so far out from this network? Time is money in this game, you land unload then load up and on your way again, no time for sitting around.
    The RSP and SRG are being dishonest to the residents of Thanet in a big way, there just is no NSIP to warrant the grabbing of land there. This should come out during the scrutiny stage. It’s a shame though that some of the dwindling SMA protesters still believe in what they have being told, and continue to push those lies onto anyone who will listen to them.

  4. I wonder how many of the UKIP Group were there. You remember, they were the ones who PROMISED an active Airport within weeks of gaining power at TDC.
    Just a thought.

  5. Pro groups are a minority pretending to be bigger than they are , they are a tiny minority who have used SM as their engine to spin lies about the plans and have a God like worship of RSP who only seem to make mistake after mistake and very low budget consultations and at one time used pro group members to bully anyone who thought any different to them. No one wants the pollution of air freight and the ground support vehicles and the mixed use plan is suited for everyone not just the few plane lovers

  6. The issue of night flights is an issue of honesty. RSP were asked why they had made provision for night flights in their application if they did not intend to have them. If, as Tony Freudmann claims, they only need provision for emergencies and unavoidable delays why not say this? RSP responded by claiming that the Planning Inspectorate had insisted that they include provision for night flights in the plan. However the Planning Inspectorate has denied this. We have been told a lie, so we cannot trust RSP at all. They have made provision for huge numbers of night flights and we should not be under any illusion that they would not make extensive use of that provision if the DCO were ever granted.

  7. The 100’s of peiple were not at a promotional rally. They were there to find out how to make their views known to the PI.
    I imagine the Inspector will be thrilled to receive 10,000 representations, 5000 of which say “Airport, Airport, Airport”, and 5000 saying “we dont want no houses because of the infrastructure and the akwafer and the qu at the docters”

  8. As before not one person complained about manston when it was military but now,,,,sorry its an airport, no good building over priced homes when there’s no jobs in Thanet. As for noisy planes these days they are quieter than military planes. Stop moaning and start making Thanet a better place to live

    • Plenty of people complained during its 15 years of commercial activity, including the person whose roof was ripped off by the vortex caused by a landing aircraft.
      There is no such thing as a “quiet” jet aircraft. There are very, very, very noisy ones, then there are quieter ones that are just very, very noisy.
      Be we don’t need them. So why even bother about trying to inflict them on us?

    • “Noise not only has the potential to cause disturbance and annoyance to those overflown. In areas of very high noise exposure there is evidence of links relating aircraft noise to health impacts, such as sleep disturbance, cardiovascular impacts, and potential impacts on memory and learning in children.”
      That’s what NATS (National Air Traffic Services) says about aircraft noise.

  9. Paul Luxmoore, what a load of pith all, I am 61 years of age, at the age of 4 , flights where above my house in Nethercourt, it has not had any effect on me, I run a successful business in Ramsgate.
    Thanet needs this airport. There are more people in my opinion in favour as against the re opening go Manston as an airport.
    Most of the people that moan, seem to be people that have recently moved to Thanet, un aware that an airport has always existed.

    • PINS’ decision will not be based on private opinions but on evidence.Not on what the public wants, but on facts.

      Before the First World War, there was no airfield at Manston. And it is clearly not a good place for a commercial airport.

      Please do not use the word “moan” to describe criticisms of RSP’s alleged plans. Anyone who has read about the effects of airborne pollution knows that RSP’s plans would cause damage to the health of Ramsgate’s inhabitants and of course to that of the other Thanet residents who live under RSP’s proposed flight path.

      Do you think the hundreds of people at NNF’s meeting have all just moved to Ramsgate?

    • Your belief that the majority of Thanet and East Kent want the Jobs and Education that will come with [the airport] is misplaced. Not one poll has ever been carried out. The nearest thing was a survey undertaken by TDC to sound out people’s opinion about night flights. Unsurprisingly, folk were against them.
      I’m not on first name terms with the Editor of this esteemed organ, but Ms Bailes didn’t actually say anything. She *reported* that …etc.
      She also said (sorry, reported) that “[SHP] will provide up to 2,000 direct jobs with 9,000 further jobs created over the course of the project”
      In the interests of balance, obviously.

  10. It isn’t airport or houses though is it. The airport shut years ago because it wasn’t viable. With nobody wishing to buy it nor fly from it what would be different now to the former commercial failures which generated low numbers of jobs. I struggle to understand what would be different (aside from volumes of night flights in order to make it pay) but as yet no aviation companies are keen. Passenger or cargo. And nobody has been keen for years….

  11. I was under the impression that what airport supporters really want is “No new housing”. Surely if they wanted jobs and education, they would be supporting SHP’s mixed-use plans for the site, which come without the noise, pollution and hundreds of extra goods lorries that come with a successful cargo hub airport.

  12. Has any thought about the roads if they build all them house’s and hotels water parks and swimming pool we can’t move on the roads now never mind when all that’s done and do you think the jobs will go to thanet people I don’t think so they will go to the people who buy the new house’snot us they will have bills to pay

    • And how many out-of-work air traffic controllers do you think there are in Thanet?
      The opening of Wetherspoons and Sainsbury’s had provided twice as many jobs as ever were at Manston, without the noise and environmental damage. We really, really don’t need an airport to give us jobs.

  13. Perhaps the thousands and thousands of airport supporters could start lobbying the councils and government for better public transport. Not that there’s anything wrong with the Loop bus which runs every few minutes. If only all those cars didn’t get in its way!

  14. Dont these 400 odd people want airport what been like in the world wars it airport get a life. To many houses kkc just want to build house and nt have airport. And line there pockets. Get life. Come manston supporters let get airport open and get jobs in thanet.

  15. I don’t think anyone’s odd not to want a cargo hub airport near Ramsgate.(Joke…)

    Perhaps Andrew Elsey would like to rewrite his comment more clearly.

    RSP don’t want a little failing airport but a big noisy dirty one. We all have a life and hundreds (at least) of us don’t want it disrupted by endless aeroplane racket day and night.

  16. The airport has always been here, things shouldn’t change ever. We need to save Manston for the tens of jobs it can provide the will save this area. Thanet is awful since the airport closed and my grandson said they are going to build 10,000 houses on it that will be for people from abroad they’re sending down from London. The noise never bothered me before and I live right under the flightpath. Even if there are night flights every night and I can’t sleep I don’t care, the airport is more important than people at this stage.

  17. My grandson said there will be no night flights when the airport reopens and easyjet are very interested in doing some flights from MANSTON

    • I’m afraid your grandson is wrong on both counts.
      My grandfather ttold me there won’t be any airport at Manston.
      So that must be true.

  18. So let’s say the airport doesn’t open. We will get AT LEAST 3000 cheap houses there to add to the projected many thousands planned for Thanet. All they talk about is noise from planes .
    No one seems too concerned by the crowds, pollution from all the extra cars and the social issues to worsen the ones here already. Thanet will become an even sadder dump of a place with even more unemployed people and filthier streets .
    Forget your idea of some ‘arty riviera’ . At least an airport brings prosperity and companies who want to be nearby for the facility .

  19. No, he said he saw it on the facebook group. They know what they’re talking about because they know Roger Gale and his friend who is buying the airport. He told me the company runs lots of airports in america, so i’m sure they will be fine. Truth is we need MANSTON for all the cargo that can land elsewhere at night. You can’t build there anyway, someone told me there is an aquifer and the USAF buried lots of bombs under the ground in the 50s.

  20. These are the pathetic people who got the airport closed in the first place the government should step in and reopen it and have night flights for the future of young people as in jobs and bringing money into THANET as all these people will be dead with 20 to 25 yrs let’s hope the government step in move these people out of THANET and start to think about young

  21. These are the pathetic people who got the airport closed in the first place the government should step in and reopen it and have night flights for the future of young people as in jobs and bringing money into THANET as all these people will be dead with 20 to 25 yrs let’s hope the government step in move these people out of THANET and start to think about young

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