March hearings and site visit dates for Manston airport buy-out bid

Manston airport site Photo Frank Leppard

The March timetable for hearings into a Development Consent Order application for the Manston airport site has been published for the Planning Inspectorate.

The application has been made by firm RiverOak Strategic Partners to gain compulsory buy-out powers over the land.

The firm says it wants to revive aviation at the site with a cargo hub and associated business.

The Manston airport site is owned by Stone Hill Park which has lodged an application to develop housing, leisure and business on the land.

Hearings began in January  and included three open floor sessions at Margate Winter Gardens with representations from groups including Save Manston Airport association and No Night Flights as well as residents, businesses and councillors.

The forthcoming hearings will be held on 18, 20, 21 and 22 March. They begin with an open floor session at The Oddfellows in Ramsgate High Street on March 18, doors open 2.30pm, session starts 3pm. A further session will be held at 7pm.

On March 20 there will be a hearing to examine to compulsory acquisition evidence. This will be held at 10am -seating available from 9.30am- at the Laurence Suite, Building 500, Discovery Park.

Need and operations will be under scrutiny at the next hearing on March 21 from 10am, again at the Laurence Suite, Building 500, Discovery Park,. This will be followed on March 22, 10am, by a hearing examining noise impacts.

Agendas for the Issue Specific Hearings will be published on the Planning Inspectorate website approximately one week prior to the hearing.

An accompanied site visit takes place on March 19, meeting at 9am at the car park to Building 500, Discovery Park. Places are limited.

The site visit stops at almost 30 places including St Lawrence, Nethercourt, Manston Green, Jentex and the Manston museums. Issue looked at include noise and  development at Jentex for a fuel farm.

Questions to be examined include the sources and availability of funding for the scheme and for compensation, including blight; noise; air quality, what need there is for an airport, biodiversity, operational issues including air traffic numbers and night flights, environment including flood risk and public health, tourism, training, employment, community and the possibility of war graves.

The examination process will run between now and the completion date on July 9.

Find the examination timetable here