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.
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 infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/south-east/manston-airport/