Manston airport ‘compulsory buy-out’ examination to hold first ‘issue specific’ hearing

Margate Winter Gardens Photo John Pritchard

The first ‘issue specific’ hearing into the Development Consent Order application  by firm RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP)  begins tomorrow (January 10).

The hearing, at Margate Winter Gardens from 10am, follows a preliminary meeting today which outlined procedural information.

RiverOak has made the application in a bid to gain compulsory buy-out powers over the Manston airport site. The firm says it wants to revive aviation at the site with a cargo hub and associated business.

The DCO seeks development consent and compulsory buy-out 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 Manston airport site is owned by Stone Hill Park which has lodged an application to develop housing, leisure and business on the land.

The DCO application was accepted for the pre-examination stage by the Planning Inspectorate in August. More than 2,000 representations were then made by residents, businesses and organisations. Among these were the Ministry of Defence, Historic England, Highways England, Dover and Thanet district councils, Kent County Council and a document from law firm Pinsent Masons on behalf of Stone Hill Park.

The examination process, which will include hearings and site visits, will run between now and the completion date in July.

Tomorrow morning the hearing will focus on the draft DCOThis will include RiverOak being asked to outline the key elements of their plan. The panel will examine the wording of the DCO and look at the compulsory acquisition – including the matter of funding.

Thanet council will be asked for views on the former 106 agreement that covered airport operations such as night flights times.

There may also be discussion of whether an agreement to stipulate local employment and whether there is need for requirements to deal with possible remains in war graves on the site.

The panel may also discuss a noise mitigation plan and remediation actions that must be taken in the event of land contamination.

There will also be an open floor hearings tomorrow at 7pm and on Friday (January 11) at 10am, During these hearings interested parties can make representations.

A full examination timetable will be issued after the first deadline of January 18.

The timetable consists of a series of deadlines for the submission of material requested by the examination panel. 

It is thought the examination report and recommendation will be submitted to the Secretary of State by November with a decision likely to be announced in January 2020.

Examination documents will be held at libraries across Thanet, Sandwich, Deal, Herne Bay

Keep up to date with the process online at


  1. The DCO Examination team insist that any oral representations at tomorrow’s and Friday’s meetings are backed up with clear evidence. It is not just opinion or assertion-based. Could be tricky for some hoping to air their views, I suspect. Some duplicate submissions which used the same language and words, have already been discarded.

  2. By the sound of it, supporting an airport with the required level of evidence would be a bit difficult. Lots of people think it would be a good idea but that isn’t enough. There would have to be evidence that an airport is needed and would be financially viable. On the other hand, we already know that housing is needed in the south-east and is actually planned for. After all, we can all think of airports that have closed down for lack of use(Manston, for example) but there aren’t any local housing estates that have closed down because nobody wants to live there!

    • But there is not the employment to support just more population in Thanet. We need significant stimulation of local business to provide quality employment before we consider more population. There is no point just increasing the benefit-dependant culture here

      • That isn’t an argument for reopening Manston. It’s not even an argument for not building houses. People, in work or not, need somewhere to live.

        • Disagree very much Andrew. The emphasis needs to be on business and wealth creation and work. The dependancy and unemployment culture in the UK and Thanet is hopeless. Manston is here and there is a stated shortage of runway capacity in the south east. Makes no sense to close it just so that some government grant-spongers can take tax payers money to build houses in a deprived unemployment black-spot, and create a social dumpster for London. There are numerous other arguments to open Manston again on economic and business grounds also

          • To build houses before there is work for people is putting the cart before the horse. To ship people in where there is inadequate opportunities for a decent luvelihood is ludicrous. Manston is here as an airfield ready to use (with modernisation). At Heathrow they plan to bulldoze houses and break up communities to build a new runway (under much protest). In Thanet – not far away, there are those who would bulldoze an airfield to build houses. Am I the only here to see the irony?

  3. There is no shortage of dedicated air freight in the SE. Read the Avia, York and Altitude Aviation reports. Manston is in the wrong place, with woefully inadequate infrastructure. Even if there were a need for air freight in the SE (which there isn’t), Manston would not be the place to meet that demand.
    And again I say: in or out of work, people need places to live.

    • Misleading information Andrew. The reports you mention were commissioned by TDC to make the case against Manston in order to aid housing vested interest. After all – he who pays the piper calls the tune. As for your point re. people needing somewhere to live, they need to move where there is livelihood. You create opportunities, then build houses. Not the other way round. An idle and deprived community with inadequate employment is culturally negative and sterile. Why should we ruin Thanet’s semi-rural environment bringing in people to be uninvolved and poor? The ‘wrong place’ argument against Manston is a time worn erroneous old chestnut. In fact with future developments in aviation it is in a very good place. If there was anything in this fallacious argument, it would apply equally to Southend – which is doing very well, incidentally side by side with a very prosperous tourism sector. Might you be a property developer Andrew??

  4. Absolute rubbish. The Avia report was commissioned in order to help TDC shape the Local Plan. The “piper” didn’t call any tune at all. If anything, Chris Wells and his UKIP cabinet would have loved a pro aviation report. There’s no escaping the fact that Manston doesn’t have the transport infrastructure to support a major cargo hub like East Midlands Airport.
    Old chestnut? Perhaps you would point to and or quote chapter and verse any expert opinion that says aviation at Manston can be a commercial success?

  5. I have examined in depth the for and against arguments to this Manston issue and all the characters and circumstances involved and I come out overwhelmingly supporting the return of Manston to aviation use, integrated into the aviation infrastructure of the UK. Excuse me, but the ‘wrong place’ argument is ‘absolute rubbish’ as there is dual carriageway and motorway pretty much all the way to London and beyond. Infrastructure can improve once the carport takes off too. Ann Gloag acquired the airport under false pretenses under a tissue of lies and deception. The current incumbents, so called Stone Hill Park are nothing but a shell-company – merely a legal (lol!) entity for conducting transactions upon the asset of Manston Airport. The real name of this entity is Lothian Shelf 718 owned by Ann Gloag and Pauline Bradley, held on a charge of £7m by Messrs Cartner and Musgrave of ‘shp. ‘Stone Hill Park’ are in no position to plan anything with the site and the only intention is land-banking and evential sell-off of parcels of land to all and any comers. The so called plans they ever have produced are laughable and would only convince the seriously intellectually challenged! So Andrew, there you have the whole seedy story. The sooner the slate is wiped clean of this fiasco and we get on with building a proper aviation facility at Manston, the better!

    • “Perhaps you would point to and or quote chapter and verse any expert opinion that says aviation at Manston can be a commercial success?”
      Other, of course, than your own opinion?

    • Bruce seems to know a great deal about the intentions of the owners of Stone HIll park aka known as “the former Manston airport”.

      Does he know as much about the intentions-and finances- of RSP? I think he should share all his knowledge with the residents of Thanet, or at least of Ramsgate.

      No need to call people “seriously intellectually challenged” simply because they disagree with you. You sound very like R. John Pritchard and Beau Webber, who share your inexplicable desire to live near a cargo-hub airport.

      (But if Manston is the hub, where do the spokes go?)

  6. The mistake most pro-airporteers make is to assume that we are looking at two equally weighted proposals. Regardless of the rubbish posted above, SHP are the site’s legal owners and they have submitted formal planning applications to redevelop the site. By contrast RSP is a company with no money in the bank and an aspirational desire to run an airport. Ultimately, it will all come down to money and RSP will not be permitted to use the DCO process to acquire the site on the cheap. For this reason the fact that they haven’t made clear the ultimate source of any funding, and have not made any kind of realistic offer to buy the site from the legal owners will weigh heavily against them

    • According to RSP’s own DCO Application, they have no funding beyond a few £M which they can draw down from committed investors. THere hope is that, once granted a DCO and CA, they can turn to banks for loans and other investors to raise the > £300M needed to actually develop the airport.

  7. Well the whole matter is now in the hands of the National Planning Inspectorate which is the best way. If RSP are found indeed to have ‘no money’ (another old chestnut), I’m sure it will come out then. The proposals for Manston are for once now a proper state of the art airport, so previous far inferior incarnations of Manston cannot be compared or used as demonstration it is unviable. A proper airport working with local business producing wealth and jobs as well as contributing to a positive culture in Thanet is infinitely preferable to an unemployment ghetto merely contributing to decay or at best pointless retail consumerism (fueled by debt). Many people look forward to Thanet turning a new page in its recent history. Going on from what I described above (but did not have the time to expand), there is also the matter of Ann Gloag before she purchased Manston being obviously tacitly given the nod for houses by the leader of the KCC – who also happens to have considerable housing interests. (There also are the plans which were leaked for housing Manston by Quinn Estates, dating from very early in proceedings). Infratil who previously ran the airport have been found to be linked to Mrs. Gloag’s complex of companies. After Gloag’s acquisition, airport workers describe how business was turned away including KLM and the airport run down. Basically the whole situation leading up to and following the closure of Manston Airport is commercially and ethically wrong – completely contrary to the interests of healthy enterprise economics and ethical practice, instead being a very ‘insider job’ focusing heavily on soaking up public funds and producing something with no real need or purpose – and destroying a national asset in the process. THan needs this rubbish like it needs a broken leg. Let us hope rationality anD justice win the day with the DCO and Manston is set firmly on its path to its rightful path to aviation – in such a scale as it has never seen before

    • RSP don’t have any money. They say so in their DCO application. They have cash in hand to the tune of ~ half a million, they have access to about £5M more from committed investors. RSP hope (They say in their submission) to raise the rest of the money, some £300,000,000, from investors and banks *once they’ve got the DCO*.
      So no, it’s not an old chestnut. It’s a fact. RSP doesn’t have the money.

    • You seem rather obsessed with Ann Gloag and conspiracies.
      The case against the reopening of Manston, or not, is not based on the prior (very poor) performance of Manston.
      RSP claim there is a HUGE unmet demand (At least 17,000 ATMs per year) in the freight market. The case against (in part) is that there isn’t. For is the argument put by Sally Dixon of Azimuth Aviation. Against is just about every other aviation expert. The most significant reason given by most commentators for failure of Manston as an airport is that it lacks transport to the rest of the UK, and there is a complete absence of freight logistics in Thanet.
      This is what the experts say, not me.

  8. Marva Reese, I did not mean to call anyone ‘intellectually challenged’. What I really meant to say was the way shp have presented their ‘plans’ or (fake) proposals have been very insulting to the intelligence of the people of Thanet – in a gaudy beads for the natives kind of way! (Keep them amused while we take their land)

  9. It’s the “scale as never seen before” that’s so worrying. If Bruce lives in Ramsgate why on earth is he supporting RSP’s alleged plans?

    The closure of an airport which was losing thousands of pounds a day dpesn’t sound commercially wrong, it sounds like the obvious thing for the landowner to do.

    Why, and how exactly, were public funds “soaked up”? The council was led to believe that an unfeasibly high percentage of the local electorate wanted another airport at Manston. Is that why?

    If rationality wins the day there will probably be no airport at Manston. Let us (the rest of us) hope so.

  10. Because I like many others want to see prosperity in Thanet – And thriving enterprise. What I do not want to see is moribund decay, poverty, inactivity and overpopulation and the island overrun with traffic etc. Zero prospects for going anywhere. Anyway the whole matter is in the right hands now and what is found to be the best plan for the country will win through

    • Also the ‘no money’ old chestnut is simplistic and misleading. These days big business proposals are put together and investors brought on board. It is not all assembled in toto before you press the start button. PINS will decide whether that stacks up anyhow now. Anyway Andrew, you just seem to switch argument whenever I counter any one of yours. You fail to come back with counter-arguments. If it is too inconvenient, ignore it. I have actually found that all along with Manston Airport opposers. They ignore what they cannot counter, relying on a time-worn set of old clichés and mantras. What is most curious is when they stale-mate themselves! They shout about how the airport can never succeed, is in the ‘wrong place’ etc etc., then in the next breath they bewail how a successful airport with flights all night every night (!?) will blight Ramsgate. Come on airport detractors! – which is it??

    • But wouldn’t a Airport freight hub also create more traffic? Why are you so concerned about more cars on the road but have no concerns about lorries etc. If you truly believe reopening the airport would provide a wealth of employment for this area, won’t this create even more need for even more housing than what is already required? Where will these houses go? Please don’t forget that the owners plans are for housing AND business and leisure facilities, schools, shops, doctors so there will be a lot of jobs created in this area. Don’t go on like its houses OR jobs.

  11. Strangely enough, when I’ve asked airport supporters for facts and explanations, they have simply ignored me. (On these comment threads, I mean, and in the case of Tony Freudmann at a consultation, in person.)

    A busy airport very close to Ramsgate would destroy it as a tourist destination. I don’t believe RSP want an airport, I believe they want to get hold of the site and build houses. But if they managed to a) acquire the site andb) get an airport going, that is what would happen to Ramsgate, so I do not ignore those possible consequences.

  12. As far as the “No money ‘old chestnut'” is concerned, read the s51 advice from the PI to RSP. Here’s the link:
    As far as dodging questions goes, how about you responding to mine, the one where I ask for amy evidence that shows that commercial aviation at Manston can be a success?

  13. For a start Marva Reese, the DCO is for an airport not house building land – so that argument doesn’t stand. The DCO is specifically for an airport. As for the issue of tourism, it was in a totally different league in the 1950s, 60s and early 70s – when there was an active RAF and USAF base flying day and night at Manston, so that argument does not hold up. While there are cheap holidays (cheaper than in the UK!) to the Mediterranean, people will not holiday in Margate. Anyway, tourism is just for the summer – we need something all year round as the main-stay of the economy. Southend has a good tourist sector and an airport as well. As for connectivity of Manston – Andrew, your argument is flagrant nonsense. There is dual carriageway and motorway from Manston’s doorstep to London and then the rest of the country is your oyster. There is also similar dual carriageway access to the port of Dover. Need I say more re connections? To squander Thanet’s geographical position (particularly in the light of impending Brexit!) on just yet more sprawling housing is foolhardy in the extreme. As for reports – Sally Dixon’s was the only one of a quality worth the paper it was written on Andrew! At the end of the day there are very few ‘facts’ so to speak in this whole shenanigan. None of us can be certain of the outcome of either scenario here 100%. The only ‘facts’ you could quote with any certainty is that the majority of the population of Thanet want the airport working again and a minority do not – and both sides find arguments to support their side. PINS will decide!

    • Which argument does not stand? I simply think that, as all professional evidence indicates that a commercial airport at Manston is likely to be unsuccessful, I think RSP’s real intentions are to build housing.

      Sally Dixon misinterpreted previous reports to such an extent that hers was unreliable.

      Please give evidence that most people in Thanet want the airport working again.

      “Sprawling housing”: 3000 houses/flats on one brownfield site may well sprawl considerably less than 3000 on sites throughout Thanet. You have ignored the other things in SHP’s plans.

  14. I’d just like to point out that it’s not my argument, flagrant nonsense or not. It’s the argument of aviation experts. And the argument of bitter experience of failed enterprises over the years. (I won’t ask you rhetorical questions like “why do you think Manston has *always* failed in the past? Could it be because most people wanting to fly would have to pass several perfectly good airports before they ever got to Manston?)
    Oh deary, deary me. Sally Dixon’s work for Azimuth was based very largely on previous material produced by York Aviation for the FTA and TfT. Ms Dixon’s analysis was thoroughly rubbished by Louise Congdon .. one of the lead analysts at York Aviation. (See here ..
    So, other than Ms Dixon’s flawed work, what else have you?
    Perhaps you could show me where the expert opinion of Falcon, Avia, York and Altitude have been seriously questioned?

  15. Marva Reese, just to clear up your query regarding public funds being given sponged up. Have you not heard about the generous grants available for building houses? – even in unemployment black-spots! Housing development these days has become a racket and grant pocketing feeding-frenzy. Also I am sure you are aware of the Operation Stack circus at Manston Airport – recently highlighted by the farcical carry-on at the beginning of the week with a handful of lorries. Ever since the ludicrous proposal of parking lorries on the airport, ‘shp’ aka Lothian Shelf 718 has been pocketing a rent for the site (paid for by the tax-payer) – for doing precisely nothing! I really cannot wait for the day these parasites are thrown out and Manston can start working productively. God and PINS willing

    • I don’t see the connection between grants for housing and employment blackspots.

      You don’t mind RSP then? They’re good developers, are they, not parasites? They care for us and only wish us well? Their cargo-hub airport will bring us all peace and prosperity?

  16. All the reports you mention are biased Andrew. There is no point sending me a link to ‘stone hill park’ as that will obviously be in their interests. Manston Airport is only 75 miles or so from the capital and right on the eastern edge of the Uk adjacent to the Eurasian continent. It is in a prime location for aviation – particularly freight orientated (as all the people can go to the nearer airports you mention for their holidays)! Manston Airport has ‘failed’ previously due to initially under-investment and then when greedy awareness developed, corporate vultures circled in and semi-organised to organised run-down set in. RSP’s proposal is in a different league – but then we don’t have to worry about that as they have ‘no money’ – as we are sagely advised by airport opposers – a fact that has escaped all manner of business and political awareness! We can argue uphill and down dale forever about this and both sides will commission various reports to uphold their interests. They constitute no proof and each side will rubbish the other’s reports. Even expert opinion about something that has not been done yet is still simply opinion. And anyway what do they say about experts – a drip under pressure lol. Anyway Andrew, I am still waiting for your argument supporting and promoting your proposal for a welfare benefits dependant ghetto!?

    • I don’t recall making any such argument.
      And since you are obviously disinclined to consider any argument that doesn’t 100% back your case, there’s no point in making one.
      The fact that the York analysis is on SHP’s web site does not detract from the fact that it was written by Louise Congdon, senior analyst at York Aviation, the author of the work relied upon and misused by Sally Dixon. Where the report sits doesn’t of itself devalue the report.
      Now, where were we? Ah yes: “All the reports I mention are biased “. Perhaps you could point to some authoritative resource to support your assertion?
      And .. oh yes … You still have to point to some evidence that supports the case for Aviation at Manston.

  17. There’s plenty of evidence a half-dead, under-invested run-down airport at Manston won’t work Andrew. There is no evidence whatever that a completely overhauled and rebuilt state-of-the-art modern cargo hub airport as proposed by RSP will not work. The likes of this have never been done before here. Only a reckless fool (or someone with vested interest elsewhere) would propose with any certainty it could not succeed. So let the gentlemen put their best foot forward, go for it and everyone give it their all – including the people of Thanet

  18. The evidence for a run down etc is there for all to see. However “No evidence that it won’t work” is not evidence that it will work. That’s sloppy logic.
    I ask you again: where is the evidence to the contrary? Where is the independent expert evidence to support your point?
    Au contraire, there is plenty of evidence to say it won’t.
    For example, DfT figures that show that dedicated cargo movements in the UK flat lined about 10 years ago, and show no signs of increasing.
    Coupled with the fact that freight hubs such as East Midlands and Stansted have spare capacity and are building more.
    There is no unmet demand.
    For example: during the Olympics (Manston was open then) Heathrow stopped taking dedicated cargo flights to free up space for Olympic visitors. No dedicated cargo came into or lect from Heathrow. How much of this displaced business did Manston pick up? None. Not one pallet load of daffs. The tumbleweed blowing across the runway had little competion.

  19. Things have moved on Andrew – the Olympics were seven years ago! Manston could not handle much freight back in those days only having one cargo stand for one aircraft, but RSP will greatly expand its cargo handling capacity and stands. Dft figures you mention? – Again old data, ten years old. If existing cargo hubs are building more, that would tend to indicate a growing and anticipated greater demand. Your logic is indeed ‘sloppy’ – not that I see any logic at all in fact – Just outdated old news, and almost a desperation that houses get built on the airport for some reason Andrew (vested interest perchance?). Get up to date Andrew – the aviation sector is growing fast and we have Brexit just round the corner. This country will have to trade much more proactively overseas, and wake itself up from its leisurely dependance and entitlement culture – from lazy benefit claimants right through to rich old boys networks of big business and politicians tapping into public funds to line their pockets. Hopefully a culture change will happen within these shores as we leave the cloying embrace of Brussels lol

    • Not wanting an airport doesn’t mean wanting houses.

      Brexit may not happen.

      “The cloying embrace of Brussels”?

      “The only wrong thing to do [in business] is never try anything ambitious”. Did you really mean to write that? The ONLY wrong thing?

      Holy Moly!

      • Question is Marva, now that the DCO is now underway and that several of the Anti Manston mainstays has already been debunked as false are you still willing to run around the perimeter naked as you promised you would when Manston reopens?

  20. Also Andrew – you are being intensely illogical (not just employing ‘sloppy logic’) if you assert that the poor performance of something in one form indicates its identical performance in another form. Incidentally a previous very flawed form, and a prospective incomparably superior form. That is non-logic, but as I said before and say again there are no certainties in business – for better or for worse. The only wrong thing to do is never try anything ambitious

  21. The point about the Olympics is that although Manston was open for business, ant business at all, and there was business, displaced from Heathrow, none whatsoever came Manston’s way. I do wonder why not. Do you?
    Aviation is growing. You’re quite right. Including the shipment of freight in the bellyhold of passenger aircraft. What’s not growing is the dedicated freighter industry. That, as I mentioned earlier, is static, with plenty of capacity elsewhere. At least one of the expert analyses says that even if dedicated cargo demand was on the increase (which it isn’t) Manston would not be the place to take up the slack.
    BTW you’ve yet to point to any expert opinion that says commercial aviation would work at Manston.

  22. Dedicated freight and so called belly freight are two totally different things. And dedicated freight is growing. Opinions opinions opinions – professional or not is all we have. There is no proof either way any business venture would work out or not until it is done – as I have said before more than once Andrew. We could go on like this ad infinitum. You cannot prove the Manston cargo would not work nor can I with 100% certainty prove it would. We will always differ on this. We will have to agree to disagree and see what transpires in the fullness of time. We both want different futures for Thanet that are poles apart – that is the only incontrovertible ‘fact’ that exists in any of our detailed discussion. I will just depart and say all the best of luck and good fortune to Riveroak in securing the DCO and developing their cargo airport. May it bring a prosperous, job-producing, Thanet population involving, diverse business enterprise future for Thanet (That just building more houses simply will not achieve)

  23. More houses without any jobs is ludicrous and won’t help Thanet’s economy at all! The investment by RSP of almost half a billion is just what Manston Airport and Thanet needs, to create much needed prosperity and hope for the future in this region. We may not be able to see where their funding is coming from but the right people at PINS will no doubt have seen it. We will see it in time, I expect, if the decision goes RSP’s way. No investor wants their name broadcast widely if a project isn’t going ahead.

    Reopening Manston may even help preserve much loved villages close to Heathrow, probably being demolished if a third runway at Heathrow goes ahead. They are desperate to move their freight slots to Mamston, to open up more passenger slots. We have a ready-made Airport here. We need and have the offer of proper investment which has never happened before, to make Manston Airport work, with no cost to British taxpayers. Let’s take advantage of it!

    • Apropos RSP’s funding: there is none, and the “right people ” at PINS have not seen it. The Inspectorate made that very clear in a letter they wrote to RSP.
      In RSP’s own documents (and I don’t blame you if you haven’t read them; RSP haven’t) RSP themselves say that they hope to raise the >£300,000,000 from banks and investors as loans and equity ONCE THEY’VE BEEN GRANTED COMPULSORY ACQUISITION from unspecified and unknown sources. In other words, they want the PI to force SHP to sell their land to RSP, but RSP don’t actually have the readies to do the job.
      This is the exact same reason that RSP (and previously ROIC) failed in CPO bids. They didn’t have the money.

  24. I’m flabbergasted that you should suggest sacrificing Thanet to save some villages near Heathrow!
    When Heathrow stopped taking dedicated freighters during the Olympics, to free up space for more passenger planes carrying spectators, the displaced cargo went to other airports.
    How much came to Manston, which at the time was open and operating, and not much more on the runway than tumbleweed?
    None. Nothing at all. Not one pallet of Daffs. All the displaced cargo was absorbed, with little effort, by other better placed and better connected airports all of which had (and still have) spare capacity.
    Conflating housing with the airport is a common mistake in many pro-airport arguments. We get the houses anyway, with all the attendant infrastructure problems. Whether or not the residents are in or out of work and so on.
    The difference is that with an airport, in addition the pollution problems associated with the new homes, we also get the pollution associated with the planes, and the large number of trucks needed to service them.
    And of course, the houses that would have been built at Manston will need to be built elsewhere, and thanks to the current TDC administration, that means greenfield sites round the villages.
    But that won’t worry you, because you’re happy to sacrifice them anyway.

  25. Plenty of cost to Ramsgate residents. Some examples: Noise pollution, sleep deprivation, environmental pollution, reduced ability to concentrate.

    Are Heathrow operators “really desperate to move their freight slots to Manston”? Why? It’s in a very awkward position.

  26. Andrew – you are talking utter tosh. For a start, all this housing hoo-hah and alarmism is misconstrued. The government directive on housing simply states that councils are required to make available planning-wise land for a stated number of houses decided for the area. We live in a free market business based economy – not a state-run command economy, so government cannot decree houses must be built anywhere! It is up to business – whether it is potentially profitable. There is absolutely no point in building houses where there is inadequate employment – and the Secretary of State will not enforce inappropriate housing quotas where there is social deprivation. So the councillors did indeed do the right thing in voting down the proposed new local plan. There are areas of land with planning permission in place for housing for years on Thanet which still have yet to be built on. No demand nor finance. When the airport is rightfully up and running again it will keep housing away on Thanet. Houses will not be able to be built within a specified area surrounding the airport. Also there will cease to be the misguided residential focus on Thanet as it is in a prime location for an airport in the southeast and next door to the continent

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