Town council clerk Richard Styles: Ramsgate Town Council hosts ‘Manston airport’ meeting

The RTC meeting at the Oddfellows

Last night (May 21), Ramsgate Town Council sponsored a public meeting to discuss the proposed Development Consent Order to reopen and develop the former airfield at Manston, by RiverOak Strategic Partners.

While there have been many public meetings and a continued debate on this subject throughout social and local media, the people of Ramsgate have not had the opportunity to fully debate or express their opinions directly to Ramsgate Town Council, in order to inform and to in some way instruct their elected representatives on how their views should be represented.

The meeting opened at 7pm to an assembly which filled the Oddfellows Hall. The debate, which ensued under the Chairmanship of Cllr Peter Campbell, proceeded with goodwill and respect on all sides. Widely differing views were expressed and by and large were listened to respectfully and quietly. The quality of the debate was of an exceptionally high order, with substantial levels of evidence offered as corroboration of the various views expressed pro and con.

This subject has generated much heat and fury over recent months, but at this event, it was more informative than combative. No one failed to get their point across even when some  statements were not accepted by many on the floor with equanimity.

It does show that when a public meeting is properly organised, is effectively chaired and managed; it is possible for directly opposing views to be espoused and explained without rancour or malice, which is more than can be said for some more august assemblies elsewhere in the UK. It upheld all the virtues of tolerance, understanding and respectful debate, that Britain has shown to the wider world for many years.

After the public meeting, the Town Council held an extraordinary meeting to instruct the Clerk to draw up a submission to the examining body for the DCO by the deadline set down in their communication with interested bodies.

The response will reflect the majority view expressed at the public meeting, which was of concern about the negative effects to the economic, social and physical wellbeing of Ramsgate, its residents, and the surrounding environment, with regard to any likelihood of the airport reopening in the manner proposed by RSP.

104 Comments

  1. The meeting last night was attended by a complete rabble who shouted made noises when others were speaking! but then found out it was conducted by Labour Momentum Anarchists says it all.
    As for respect there was none and the Chairman was useless

  2. Acccording to the SMAA facebook group this article is incorrect. They felt threatened by the anti’s, were heckled, booed and sneered at every time one of them spoke.

  3. Presumably RTC will also be holding a similar meeting to rubber stamp their objection to Bretts proposed industrialisation of Port Ramsgate. No. Thought not.

  4. The meeting last night was attended and organised by a complete rabble who shouted made noises ,sneered and booed when others were speaking! Chairman was as useful as a chocolate teapot, organised by Labour Momentum Anarchists , proper Labour must be disgusted with Ramsgate Labour.This report has left me disappointed with this paper as in the past I found it so fair and balanced in its reporting.

  5. Less than 150 people can never be said to represent the views of the whole body of Ramsgate people (approx 40,000)There will be a formal complaint submitted to the Inspectorate about the manner in which this meeting was hastily arranged and of the conduct by some members. The people of Ramsgate deserve much more respect than they are being shown by this over enthusiastic but immature group within her Council.

    • Pity you wasn’t there then ?? You have never listened to anyone opposing the airport reopening so why start now

    • Everybody in Ramsgate had a chance to attend and comment. It just seems you are angry because it didn’t go your way. The myth of everybody wanting the airport to reopen is finally laid to rest.

      • No it isn’t! There is still 80+% who didn’t attend the anti—airport meeting and who still want the airport to reopen. RTC does NOT speak for the majority of Ramsgate residents! If the antis told facts and truth it wouldn’t be so bad! Scaremongering at its best. That meeting and its report disgust me!

        • I’m surprised at the anger over Richard’s column (and it is a column not a report). I felt he was trying to be civil to those from both sides of the debate. Clearly you may disagree with his view about how the meeting was managed or his assessment of the majority view of Ramsgate and that is to be expected, there is never going to be a consensus on this issue and I write articles covering both sides of that debate, but this column does not show disrespect for any of those who attended and acknowledges the differing views and quality of debate.

        • Furious RR: what facts and truth aren’t the “anti’s” telling?

          Fact: There will be night flights – Riveroak says so.
          Fact: The consequences for the residents of Ramsgate will be dire – Riveroak says so.
          Fact: Riveroak don’t have the money – Riveroak says so.
          Fact: There is no case for a DCO or CA. There is no shortage of air cargo provision in the UK, and even if there was, Manston isn’t the place to meet that need – Everyone says so – Davies Commission, Falcon, Avia, Altitude, years of failure …

          Furious R.R please feel free to contribute some “facts” that put the opposing case.

        • As it was a public meeting held by the council, it could only be neutral, to start with. (The council,I’m pretty sure,didn’t invite people by name.) It was the majority of those who attended who don’t want a cargo airport nearby. This majority could have consisted of people who do want a cargo airport at Manston, of course, but for some reason, it didn’t.

          There are 40,000 people living in Ramsgate. 80% of 40,000 is …hang on…8/10 of 40,000…32,000. It’s hard to believe that 32,000 people (young and old) want the extreme noise and pollution which RSP’s kind of airport would bring with it.

    • Stuart Piper: If you had bothered to attend you would realise it was a bit noisy. The pros making as much noise as the antis. A complaint TO PINS indicates the biast and blinkered view many of the older councillors have. As far as not being representative of Ramsgate, nor are the 85% pro that you, and Roger Gale spout.

    • Rev Piper – sorry to call you out, but you didn’t turn up to the meeting (all other councillors bar one did) so any “opinion” you have is based on here say. I was there and the meeting was well chaired, the speakers from the public were passionate and mostly well informed, only two spoke in favour and were allowed their time, the floor did almost unanimously disagree with them (“there were planes in the Second World War and nobody complained so we should have them now” and “some cargo planes are less noisy that others”didn’t sway the debate). Parents, nurses, teachers and local business owners spoke of the fears for the future of Ramsgate and the wider area of 200+ large planes land every day, flying less than 250 meters over the Royal Harbour and across the town.

      • That is not correct Guy Sawtell. At least three of RTC Councillors were at the Ramsgate wide Community safety meeting which had been in our diaries for almost a year. Where is your evidence, or theirs even, for 200 large heavy planes every day? BTW I live under the flight path.

        • My apologies – only two “apologies” were given at the meeting. I am sure the minutes will have the correct information. The proposal I believe is for upwards of 10000 flights a year – my maths is off (again apologies I am playing catch up on this)but that is a hell of a lot of disturbance every day. I stand by the fact that this was a one time only meeting about a critical issue that affects our future with a good turn out and know I can go to the community safety team report next time (where I believe we met previously) and hear what the police and council teams have achieved in the previous 3 months. Your input was missed and I am certain you would have spoken for the proposal convincingly.

        • Really you live under the flight path at Northwood I don’t think so !! Hope you confess that porky.

    • Upset that the usual SMAa rabble were dealt with in the manner manner in which they treat others Mr Piper?

    • 75% of the people of Ramsgate voted for Labour Councillors who stood on a “no to RSP” ticket. This also reflects the last time when TDC asked for views on Night Flights back in Infratil days (before your time Stuart). So to use the Sir Roger Gales words ” The majority of residents are NOT supporting Riverjoke”

  6. When I reread the article it became apparent that it was Styles work. Campbell is a disgrace to the Labour movement and the founders of the party must be spinning in their graves at the antics of Momentum. The ill informed comments from some of those opposed to reopening the airport were sad to hear and are the result of scaremongering by those opposed to everything.

    • ! was unable to attend the meeting due to ill health, but for the record I have been opposed to the reopening of Manston as an airport because RSP do plan to use it for mainly Cargo aircraft, passenger aircraft are an aspiration, according to their own submission to the Planning Inspectorate of at least 2 to 3 aircraft, an hour, including at night! Aircraft will have to approach over Ramsgate Harbour at a height of less than 300meters (an angle of 3degrees) 250 meters and less over the Town, and 150 to 100 meters over St Lawrence, and the Nethercourt estate.

      They will be emitting noise pollution at around pain level, 130Db, imagine what that will be like if you are at school, eating al fresco at the harbour, and trying to sell your property! It MUST devalue property, and ruin the tourist industry! And get me started on the air pollution they will cause!

  7. Sounds like a farce of RTC bit like the farce and fraud that you do over and over again…the port the airport ramsgate seafront… Time to go

  8. I am afraid this makes my point about social media of all sorts.
    I know Cllr Piper’s views and had he attended the meeting he could have spoken for Manston airport regeneration and against the resolution, but he chose not to.All those who wanted to speak did so, and were listened to.Both the Chairnman and I were very determined that all opinions should be aired and they were.
    As for other meetings about the Harbour or other subjects, I am sure they will follow. Contact your RTC Cllr and ask for a meeting.
    I don’t think I am going to convince some of the correspondents here, but I would say using inflammatory descriptions of those you disagree with is not going to change hearts and minds.

    • Mr Styles it is disingenuous of you to say I chose not to attend. A far more urgent Community Safety Meeting to discuss the whole of Ramsagte had been in our diaries for almost a year. We discussed ASB, Town Centre violence, including a recent tragic stabbing, Policing, County lines, Enforcement and many other issues concerned with protecting the people of Ramsgate. The Council had received the apologies of those Cllrs who did not attend last night’s hastily arranged gathering and the main protagonists by may well have left it too late. They could have held a public meeting a long time ago and made their submissions to the earlier Inspectorate meetings. Mind you, they would have needed evidence and they would not have been able to use the good name of RTC to try to add weight to their argument. The Oh dear what have I said about social media hardly applies to a newspaper article does it?

      • Stuart Piper You are entitled to your opinions, even when based on heresay not evidence. However the weight they carry, unless evidence-based, is negligible. Please read RSP’s submission, and then base your opinions on its contents rather than your beliefs, otherwise you will continue to appear stupid.

  9. All political Parties and Independents were very clear as to their position on aviation at the Manston site prior to the very recent election held this month.

    Ramsgate people – all circa 40,000 of us – had an opportunity to vote.

    We voted with our feet to elect the new councillors of the Ramsgate Town Council.

    These personal slurs are uncalled for, unnecessary and inflammatory.

    As for the mud-slinging at Richard Styles for communicating the results of this meeting; this is his job as town clerk one he discharges admirably.

    • Nearly all RTC councillors were voted in with a commitment to fight the DCO application by RSP so I don’t know how Piper has the cheek to infer last night’s meeting was somehow undemocratic.

  10. Nearly all RTC councillors were voted in with a commitment to fight the DCO application by RSP so I don’t know how Piper has the cheek to infer last night’s meeting was somehow undemocratic.

  11. For years the pro-airport mob has abused and shouted down others. People have been threatened and councillors have been jeered and heckled from the public gallery. All of a sudden the boot is on the other foot and they don’t like it. All of a sudden the pro-airport mob want to play the victim. Well they won’t be getting any sympathy from me. For years they have lied through their teeth, telling all and sundry that a majority of local people support RSP’s plans. No wonder local people are angry. Their views have been grossly represented by this appalling mob, orchestrated by people who don’t even live in Thanet. As if to prove my point only half-a-dozen pro-airport mobsters turned up to the meeting. Where were the 10,000 people they claimed supported RSP when they started their foul campaign? And how come the average age of people who are opposed to the airport is a good 20-30 years younger than the morons who want a filthy polluting cargo hub on the edge of town? Another lie. For years they have been claiming that the people opposed to the airport are old and retired; that they don’t need “the jobs.” It’s a shame if the pro-airport mob now feels beleaguered, but I’m afraid what goes around comes around. If you base your campaign on lies and refuse to listen to the views of local people you can hardly complain if they take matters into their own hands and treat you with similar contempt.

  12. The meeting was packed. I saw invites on both Facebook and Twitter and on local paper website. It was so well publicised one gentleman came from London to air his ‘expert’ views. People feel very passionate about this, so it was definitely a lively meeting and a bit of heckling was to be expected. But it was well-chaired and people on all sides were able to have their say.

    The key points pro airport side seem to be:
    – there’s always been an airport there
    – you get used to the noise
    – it will bring jobs
    – no industry in Thanet
    – we don’t want more houses.
    – houses mean pollution because of cars
    – no jobs or infrastructure for people moving in

    Those against the airport argued:
    – an airport has never made a profit at Manston
    – this will not be a passenger airport, it’s cargo only
    – it will only bring a few jobs, as most jobs will be automated
    – the people behind the airport have not put together a proper financial plan, are not transparent, based offshore and include a struck off lawyer.
    – the noise and pollution will be bad for our community, children, environment and protected natural areas with up to 83,000 flight movements a year, potentially 24/7 flying as low as 250m above the town.
    – there is a boom in tourism in Ramsgate which has always been a tourist town since the 1700s.
    – noisy low-flying aircraft and pollution will put an end to the growing tourist trade and mean jobs will be lost
    – houses are in our government local plan and will need to be built anyway. So it is not a simple choice of airport v houses. The houses are coming and it would be better that they are properly planned than popping up all over the place.
    – the Stonehill Park plan for houses includes infrastructure, leisure, health and other facilities.
    – Riveroak may want to do a ‘landgrab’ i.e. once they get the airport, they will make it fail, and then have a very valuable piece of land on which to build ….houses.
    – industry is changing – perhaps this is an opportunity to move into new areas e.g. renewables
    – As usual no due diligence
    – Political agenda/conflict of interest e.g. Roger Gale (president all party aviation committee) and Craig Mackinlay (Mama airlines) are using undue influence.

    People talked a lot about pollution, and in a world where climate change is the number one, overriding issue of our times, surely the first thing you do is try and cut down aviation, not look for ways to increase it.

  13. Wow. Didn’t take long for the Save Manston Airport Association, (Chair: B. Webber, of Canterbury, Vice Chair: J. Pritchard of Margate), to comment-bomb this article claiming outrage on behalf of “people of Ramsgate”, did it?

    This was a completely open meeting, promoted openly, that anyone who cares about Manston – from either side – could have gone to. Same is true of the public meetings hosted by the UK Planning Inspectorate (PINs) Examining Authority meetings, same is true of the online consultation process conducted by PINs.

    In every single one of these cases, where it has been completely open to the public, the majority view has been that RSP’s plans for Manston are not wanted and will be a disaster for Ramsgate, based very much on evidence. Anyone who has attended any of these meetings – or followed the Planning Inspectorate hearings – can point you, (and you, Stuart Piper), to overwhelming evidence about the damaging impact of RSP’s plans for Ramsgate and massive holes and lack of any evidence provided by RSP to support their claims. Recent hearings are publicly available which show that RSP has no proof of funds, no business model and the aviation consultant who produced the Azimuth Report and forecasts admitted quite openly that she was not asked to show that her forecasts were viable and there is nothing in RSP’s plans that show that they are. These are pipe dreams, pure and simple.

    Save Manston Airport Association followers seem to be getting very angry because this doesn’t fit with what they see from their closed Facebook group, closed meetings and behind-closed-doors meetings and updates directly from RSP and their leader, disgraced struck-off-solicitor and serial failure, Tony Freudmann. His last attempt at running an airport ended up like all his others in his 25yr career – dismal failure, with workers going 3 months without pay before going out of business 9 months after he took it over. (That was at Black Forest Airport Lahr, about 1 year before he began this ridiculous campaign to bring his “magic touch” to Manston). He span the same BS at Lahr as he’s spinning here … former regional military airport he wanted to turn into a cargo airport, “will create thousands of jobs” blah blah.

    As for Rev Stuart Piper …. what on Earth makes you think you have any right to speak for “The whole body of Ramsgate people?”. At best, you can claim to speak for your ward. That’s it. The people of Ramsgate have indeed spoken in the local elections just a few weeks ago and they voted for 12 out of 16 councillors who made it very clear in their manifestos that they oppose RSP’s plans for the airport. These colleagues of yours in RTC – all democratically elected – and all the people who voted for them deserve a hell of a lot more respect than you are showing them. Your comments here are undemocratic and an absolute disgrace.

    • Ben Chester: Just to help you get part of you facts right.:- I think you will find the Chair of the Save Manston Airport Association group lives in Ramsgate. Even if he still is, I think the person you mention as being the vice chair of the Save Manston Airport Association group lives in Ramsgate.

  14. Stuart Piper: If you had bothered to attend you would realise it was a bit noisy. The pros making as much noise as the antis. A complaint TO PINS indicates the biast and blinkered view many of the older councillors have. As far as not being representative of Ramsgate, nor are the 85% pro that you, and Roger Gale spout.

  15. What kind of councillor ducks the opportunity to attend the meeting to put his case in person? This is just typical of the pro-airport campaigners. Their entire campaign has been waged online using fake identities and pseudonyms. As soon as they are challenged to come out into the light the thousands of members they claim to have just fade away. Even their sympathetic councillors can’t be bothered to miss Eastenders. If you can only produce half a dozen out-of-touch wrinklies to present your case, you need to look at whether you’re a campaign group or a handful of disgruntled whingers.

    • In fairness Cllr Piper said he was attending the Community Policing meeting where 15 residents turned up. He does have priorities and supporting Freudmann seems to be his favourite

      • It was an unfortunate timing conflict – I took the decision that attending a one time only meeting about the long term future of the town was a better use of my evening than a regularly held community meeting that I can attend next time.

    • One who was attending a community safety meeting regarding the whole of Ramsgate – a meeting that had been in diaries for at least a year. Do try and keep up; this has already been explained

  16. As you will be aware Rev Stuart Piper there is a very specific timetable for the DCO Examination up until the end of the Examination on 9 July 2019.

    This very specific timetable has set deadlines for submissions to the Planning Inspectorate. These deadlines are set by the Examining Authority and each deadline has a very specific criteria list for submissions.

    These can be viewed here > https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/south-east/manston-airport/?ipcsection=exam

    As such there is a very limited window for the Ramsgate Town Council to submit a submission particularly with the elections held only in May.

    The fact that an open meeting on such an important issue was advertised, organised and held for everyone to attend is something that should be applauded not meet with hostility and derision.

    As an elected member of the Ramsgate Town Council I would hope that you desist in stirring division and act with decorum befitting your role as an elected councillor.

  17. I’m not sure what writing a complaint to the Examiners, the last time I looked it is not for the Examiners to comment on the speed at which a meeting is convened, nor someone’s personal view on Chair skills. This isn’t school, RTC isn’t the naughty child. Democracy enables all views, this is now what is happening. Given TDC changed their administration so they could change their own official view from anti to pro, how is this now any different for RTC? Is it ok for TDC to do this but not RTC? If it’s not ok, then TDC should withdraw their pro position voiced personally by their recently re elected leader.

    It seems to me that now the true majority voice of Ramsgate is being heard, that the airport enthusiasts find themselves unable to cope with this democracy or face the evidence. If we assess the facts of pro support they are time and again disproved. Let’s just look at the same headlines….

    It hasn’t always been an airport. It used to be a military base, disposed of immediately when there was no military need. It has been an airport for 25 years and shut for the last 5 due to successively going bust due to commercial failure.

    Opening a cargo hub won’t stop houses being built. The two are not co dependent on each other and supporters simply do not seem to understand this. The houses are coming irrespective of what happens at the shut airport.

    When it last went bust it employed 144 people.

    RSP don’t seem to have any money. If they do have any it is coming from secret investors who hide offshore. If these mystery funders are queuing up to fund this sure commercial winner, why are they so scared of being known? Are they worried about some people objecting to an airport? I doubt it.

    The suggestion you get used to noise is at best, an absurd suggestion. It also isn’t true. Clearly.

    When it WAS up for sale, RSP didn’t buy it. Now they want to force the people who did buy it to give it to them.

    I also understand no airlines have committed to operating from Manston should it reopen or have we missed this headline? Happy to be disproved on this, or any of the above.

    I think evidence over sentiment is now being aired, and good on RTC for organising this meeting. I was insulted that RTC previously chose to have a supportive view on the certain ruin of our town without consulting any residents.

    The mud slinging is pointless and it is also fake news to suggest anti airport sentiment is party political because it is not. Many non Labour non Green voters are entirely opposed to the application which, if you read it, also has no evidence to suggest it is a viable proposition.

    Well done RTC.

  18. A few weeks ago, Stuart “Pipe Dreams” Piper was telling us all that “we’re not seeing the bigger picture”. Now he seems to think anyone who doesn’t share his bizarre ‘vision’ – which includes the overwhelming majority of Ramsgate residents and fellow Town Councillors – is “Immature”. How’s that superiority complex coming along, Stu?

    Which is worse …

    A) Someone who sits on Ramsgate Town Council thinking that jumbo jets flying over the town at altitudes of less than 500ft is something we should all be grateful for?
    or
    B) A member of the council for the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (Kent) who thinks an environmentally mental 24/7 air cargo hub that pushes 2,500 houses onto greenbelt land is a mature and ‘big picture’ vision?

    Piper is both.

  19. It is a pity this issue cannot be debated without it being reduced to a personal level.I think it is the risk of becoming a target that dissuades many residents from voicing their views or becoming any way involved in the process that will ultimately make the decision. It saddens me.

    • It might be that the evidence from one side is actually evidence and that from the other is mainly hopes wants and opinions. The DCO is evidence based and that evidence from RSP is sadly late, incorrect, and disingenuous.
      They were offered a 125 year lease on the land 12 months ago. (RSP kept that quiet) they turned it down (I wonder why)

    • The myth that the majority of residents support the airport reopening has finally been laid to rest at long last and not before time

  20. Kathy, luckily for us all the Examiner will make the decision, based on evidence. I’ve certainly encountered online criticism elsewhere for my opposition to the cargo hub plan but that is how democracy works and as long as the criticism is constructive then it is surely acceptable. Unfortunately, some public figures have made numerous detrimental comments about who these ‘anti’ people might be so quite rightly, we’re feeling insulted sometimes, particularly when this type of comment comes from your own MP on occasion. As a media outlet I am sure you are comfortable being able to represent the news, if you need to moderate the comments then perhaps so. I do agree that personalisation and targeted insults are unwelcome. Perhaps someone could tell our Thanet MPs to lay off the DFL rhetoric.

    • I made the comment in a personal capacity. It saddens me that the community is so split and I believe personal insults, whatever side of the fence and whether resident or MP, are not helpful.

      • Fair enough and I agree with you, personalisation and the rise of outrage politics is unwelcome. I have to say had so much fake news not been peddled by RSP (10,000 jobs?! Even revised from 30,000 it is still nonsensical and without any evidence) perhaps so many people wouldn’t feel so disgruntled. When you are further ostracised by having zero formal support from your town and district council and your MP despite raising those concerns it doesn’t feel like a fair or representative landscape, and that is because until recently, until this examination, it has not been fair on anyone who objects.

        We witnessed TDC up seat the last leader so the current leader could continue what appears to be a personal mission rather than an evidence based mission. This is not, and has never been, fair to anyone living in Thanet. A labour administration and a UKIP administration has rejected these plans previously, why is that not good enough? I agree the rhetoric has made Thanet a divided place, I have lived all over the world and never ever been made to feel unwelcome because I’m not from round here. It is astonishing and weird.

        Now the balance is righting, I’m afraid not everybody likes it.

      • At the meeting one person stood up and basically said newcomers to the area should not be having a say. That is the mentality you are up against from supporters of RSP.

      • I have to say I am very surprised you accept an advert from SMAa that is blatently untrue. Even the examiners have concluded using RSPs own documentation the DCO application means night flights. In what world can 8 flights between 11.30pm and 6.00am not be described as night flights.

        • The advert states what RSP has submitted to the Examiners. It does not say no night flights and it includes the exceptions which is the area of contention.

          • This is what RSP has said to the ExA in its responses to the 2nd Written Questions:
            “12.7.40 During the daytime period (between 07:00 to 23:00) the Proposed Development is forecast to handle approximately 72
            aircraft movements during a typical busy day and during the night-time period (between 23:00 and 07:00) it is forecast
            to handle an average of seven aircraft movements on a typical busy night.”
            Yes, RSP say that on a typical busy night, there will be 7 night flights.
            It doesn’t really matter what label you give the flights: non-scheduled, late-running, makes no difference. Typically, 7 times a night the people of Ramsgate will have their sleep disturbed.
            Emma’s advertisement is really quite curious, in that it makes it clear that there *will* be night flights. I’m not sure what point they’re trying to make.

          • It does make the night flight parameters clear and that is a detail necessary for the advert to run. It accurately reflects the submission to PINs. I’m aware of what was submitted as I have read and written about it giving the view from both sides of the debate

  21. i am amazed at the negatives views people hold on Manston airport it has been made clear we will have houses built once built these will just have more people chasing few jobs. Surely it is far better to have a up and running airport that has long term sustainable jobs of a higherquality than those around at present and have the people that come hre at gainfully employed. This will be the making of thanet not its downfall follow the old sentiments if you buy near an aiport surely you expect planes to fly. The stonehill park lot just want to make money move out and let us pick up whats left

    • Tina Brow you’re right we will have houses, whether Manston is turned into an airport or not. Houses are coming anyway. But I don’t understand how you can buy a house if you are chasing a job? You buy a house when you have a job, and you pay council tax, and that increases Thanet’s income and enables more services. Building an airport doesn’t do that, it just increases pollution, noise, and drives away the people who would contribute to Thanet’s well-being.
      By the way, I didn’t buy near an airport, I build near a potential mixed-use development that promises jobs. The airport closed (as a loss-making business) years ago.

    • Tina – the houses are being built anyway. All that happening is reserving the land for RSP is pushing them out onto green belt land. As for jobs, one of the many issues is that if you plan on employing people it helps to have a business model and money with which to pay them, otherwise what happened at Lahr will also happen here. RSP has neither of these things.

  22. I’m a DFL (actually, I lived before in Sussex, before that in Suffolk, before that in Surrey, and before that in the Midlands. I chose Ramsgate as the town I want to spend the rest of my life in because of its fantastic architecture, a beautiful port, the friendliness of its people, and the quiet gentle lifestyle. When I moved here the airport was close, disused, and unlikely to reopen. I am completely opposed to RSP’s plans which would destroy the pleasure and beauty of Ramsgate. I’m extremely sympathetic to the concerns about jobs but RSP’s plans will not bring jobs. People of Ramsgate you have been lied to by SMA, you have been lied to by your politicians, you have been lied to by people who say it’s airport or houses. The evidence is clear, and I’m sorry that some people would rather ignore it and then blame people moving here for the anti-airport sentiment. Please look at RSP’s proposals before accusing us of spreading misinformation. And remember, we all love Ramsgate.

  23. It was a well attended and well organised meeting. The dominant view of the hall, articulately and passionately expressed, was that the RSP plans represent a real threat to Ramsgate’s population, schools, health, economy and heritage. There is nostalgia for the old airport but it was emphasised again and again that the proposal is for a scenario incomparable with anything g that has gone before. Similarly views about it being a question of houses or airport were dismissed with the facts of the case being presented- that the quota of houses will be built airport or no. A vociferous pro-airport lobby have claimed for years to speak for Ramsgate. They don’t. Many don’t even live in Ramsgate. Those of us that do, and that voted in anti RSP councillors, want a clear statement from our town council to the Examining Authority. A statement that this proposal needs to be dismissed as soon as possible.

  24. Get used to the idea, Manston Airport is coming back in to full use, providing decent jobs to the whole community.
    you have time before this eventuality to sell up and move if your against the airport.
    If your so deluded a company has spent millions not to get the DCO on the top lawyers and experts, if you don’t then I can conclude you need help from a therapist.

    • “Jobs”, just remember riverjoke have fallen at EVERY hurdle, hardly a stellar performance from a property development company that you claim to be packed full of expertise is it 😉

      Manston is gone, get over it.

    • “Jobs for the youth of Thanet”‘s comment is typical of the kind of thoughtless insult which people who don’t want to live near an airport have so often received.

    • “Jobs for the youth …” I note that in addition to therapists, there are job vacancies in Thanet for teachers of English, too.
      Would you mind enlightening us and pointing us to at least one expert who says that Manston will work as an airport?

    • Really have you actually read the DCO application. It is for a fully AUTOMATED cargo hub so very few jobs

  25. Well said Cathy and emmeline, I can’t understand why our two MPs are so pro airport when one of them doesn’t even live here he has a grace & favour flat. As for Stuart piper I’m afraid Ramsgate will always be the same wile you have the likes of him and Bayford on the Council, I can only assume there are some big brown envelopes floating around.

  26. The debate is characterised typically, but not universally, thus:
    On the one hand you have a (small, it appears) group of people who support the idea of an airport. Their arguments tend to be coloured by nostalgia and opinion, not based on fact.
    On the other, there is a large (seemingly) group of people who are opposed most certainly to night flights, and possibly to any sort of airport at all. Their arguments are in the main based on facts and developed using reason and logic.
    It is also true the violence (in this case verbal violence) is the repartee of the inarticulate.

  27. I wonder looking at the comments on here and on social media which group has the momentum and which one is upset because their support of 85% of Thanet couldn’t be bothered to go to the meeting

  28. You want houses? Houses that produce no long term employment? You want housing that produces thousands of extra cars on the roads along with constant noise and pollution? You want houses without an adequate water table? without adequate schooling? without adequate healthcare? the nearest stroke unit in Ashford,?you want houses without enough police resources to serve the Isle? You want permanent grid lock all over Thanet? ( not far from it now), then go ahead . Forgo the jobs, forgo the Thanet we know, turn it into another London ghetto. Be careful of what you wish, and stop listening to the lies about night flying! NIMBYs rule, ok?

  29. Tony, what have houses got to do with plans for a cargo hub? Housing quota is agreed for Thanet. Why do pro supporters not understand this? It is pro support that has ensured thousands of houses are now destined unnecessarily to the green belt when they could go on the brownfield at the defunct airport. Your ghetto comment is divisive, rude and incorrect, London has no such areas.

    • It is really quite concerning that there are so many people commenting on the Manston issue without having a basic understanding.
      So, Tony (the other Tony) here it is, again:
      We get the houses, along with all the problems you outlined anyway.
      OR
      We get the houses, along with all the problems you outlined, PLUS an airport, with the additional problems that will bring.
      In simple terms:
      Option 1 … gives a bunch of problems.
      Option 2 … gives Option 1 problems + a lot more.
      Now, which option to go for?
      (I’m the other Tony, btw)

      • Housing is not a problem. We need a lot more housing to bring prices down to affordable levels and to give young people the opportunity of having a stake in the economy.

  30. Interesting to note that Stuart Piper is keen to report alleged bad behaviour at the meeting to the Planning Inspectors. It wasn’t long ago that Mr Piper was seen in the very same hall heckling the video of a DCO submission by a disabled member of the Ramsgate community. But it’s ok because the Planning Inspectorate already know about this. They were ones who told Mr Piper to pipe down.

  31. Kathy with reference to the advert placed next to this column:

    1. at no time in any of the DCO application has RSP said RSP will not run “chartered” flights at night. It is incorrect to say that they have;
    2. at no time in any of the DCO application has RSP said RSP “can invest £300 million”. It is incorrect to say that they have;
    3. at no time in any of the DCO application has RSP said RSP will offer “10,000 local jobs”. It is incorrect to say that they have.

    If anyone disagrees please point to where in the documents submitted to the ExA as part of the DCO application you can find your evidence and I will happily read it.

    Part of the reason there is so much anger and divisiveness is because there has been a continual stream of misinformation.

    Personally I have received quite a lot of intimidation and unpleasantness from a minority of people.

    As we all know most people in Thanet and particularly Ramsgate want the best for Ramsgate and deserve to be given the best and most accurate information in order to know what is the best option.

    I would ask all who feel strongly and want the best for Ramsgate to attend the upcoming Examination Authority hearings from 3-7 June to hear the facts for themselves rather than to rely on second or third hand information heard at BBQs or read on social media.

    If you are unable to attend the hearings the audio is posted by the Examining Authority shortly afterwards so you can hear it directly for yourselves.

    • “One of the major questions posed has been how the project, which RSP say will cost in the region of £300 million, will be funded.”

      • This proves my point, Kathy.
        1) It is “a major question” that has been posed. This does not by any means confirm that RSP will invest – or want to invest – £300m.
        2) What the proposed cargo hub will (conservatively) cost and what RSP is able to invest are two very different things.

        As anyone who has been following the hearings, evidence and latest round of questions (and RSP’s replies), can tell you, RSP is currently arguing with the ExA that they do not need to show any ability to fund the building of the airport, only what – according to their estimates – it will cost to buy the land via CPO and put in escrow for their own meagre noise mitigation estimates. Even this amounts to no more than £15m. This certainly does not show evidence that they “want to invest £300m”. Also worth noting that they have yet to provide any evidence that they even have this £15m available to them.

        • It can be viewed that way, ot it might be viewed that the DCO submission for a cargo airport had been made and 300m is the price of delivering that. RSP say they hope to deliver it. I am not championing either side of the debate and that is evident from articles covering both sides. However, I asked SMAa to evidence their advert and they did, just the same as SHP would have to if they chose to take another advert.

      • 1) In the latest hearings, Sally Dixon, under questioning, confirmed that her forecasts are not based on viability and there is nowhere in the DO application that supports that her forecasts are in any way viable. The Dixon (Azimuth) report has been roundly discredited.

        2) Even going by this low standard, the Azimuth (Dixon) report shows on page 28 of Vol.IV, total direct job *in year 20* of 3,417. This is the only figure that could possibly be counted as “local jobs”.

        • It has been submitted. Those I believe are proposed (and it does say predicted) direct jobs and not ancillary. As I said before I asked for the basis of the advert contents and was supplied with it. You disagree with it and that is your prerogative, just as those who disagree with any items voicing opinion against the airport disagree with those articles being published.

    • However, RSP Lead Counsel, Isabella Tafur said: “There will be no flights, programmed charted or scheduled” between 11pm and 6am. She then added that delayed flights might land within those hours but there would be no take offs.”

      • The ExA has made it very clear that this is a written process and that any oral representations need to be backed up by written evidence and statements.

        It is the actual draft DCO document and other written areas of the application that counts. This is ultimately what RSP will be judged on and what will go into the DCO if it is ever granted. Please point to any part of the actual written application where the word “chartered” appears in relation to a night flights ban.

        • I think what is said during the examination is valid otherwise what would be the point of anyone going and speaking?

          • Anyone speaking at a oral hearing or a Issue Specific Hearing is asked to also submit a written submission with evidence of what they said for this reason. The Examining Authority has made it very clear this is a written evidence backed process. The written draft DCO clearly does not include the word “chartered” on its ban of night flights.

          • For the DCO decision. I’m not deciding the DCO, I had asked for the references for evidencing an advert, that is my business obligation which I fulfilled. Written submissions are the obligation of PINs which they will fulfill as they make their decision. I have to leave this conversation now as I have work to do, I’m happy to respond via email to any further requests

        • For the DCO process. Not to evidence an advert. The statement about chartered flights was made, that is what was evidenced for its use in an advert. PINs will decide the DCO using their process, I am talking about the request to evidence the contents of an advert and that does not restrict me to written submissions. You may dislike it, just as pro airport campaigners said the previous SHP advert was bollocks but as long as it is evidenced and within guidelines then the decision to run it will be made

  32. These are the references from the hearings and from the submitted documents through the process. Whether you agree or disagree with what they are saying, much like whether people agree or not with the view of the recent meeting, these are the submissions. Time will tell whether they are accepted by PINs or not.

    • 1) As detailed in my replies above, the evidence states otherwise.
      2) An advert on such a divisive issue for the local area should not be based on opinions, but on facts.

  33. The rhetoric on the ‘ban’ is spin, even the Chair of the last examination meeting said so. It is absolute spin, smoke and mirrors. The jobs figures on the airport adverts are lies. Pure and simple. 3,500 at year 20 hardly equates to 10,000 or 30,000 does it. Not only that, the 3,500 figure is in the Azimuth report, a report the author has confirmed contains no detail or evidence of viability. It is a report which lists numbers, nothing else. If anyone believes that 3,500 jobs at year 20 based on flight volumes that are not backed by evidence of viability I would wonder what else they believe in.

    Obfuscation and spin about night flights aside, why would anyone want a cargo plane over Ramsgate during the day every 10 minutes? I don’t want an airport day or night. The night flights latest fog is nothing more than a red herring. The draft DCO needs shredding, right as soon as the Examiners recommend to the Secretary of State to reject this poorly constructed application, with no evidence of viability, no evidence of need (racehorses or shellfish anyone?) no evidence of funds, no evidence of customers and no evidence of due consultation. It is, and remains, an insult to Ramsgate.

    • Sorry but RSP have NOT placed an advert.
      A fact and an important fact that this advert as dubious as it is was placed by the Save Manston Airport Association and it is a fact that they are an echo chamber which collects all its information from that font of knowledge Tony Freudmann who has been talking people out of their money since he became a solicitor and got caught with his hand in the till.
      To blame RSP you would have to prove a causal link between RSP and SMAa like them paying the bill for the advert. This would be difficult seeing as SMAa haven’t published any accounts taking a lesson from RSP who use LTD company accounts without any trading taking place, it is a fact they say that they have spent £12M on the DCO yet not a penny has gone through any RSP Ltd Company. I do wonder how Money Laundering was done by their solicitors and where the money actually came from

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