Planning Inspectorate DCO report for Manston site delayed over final fee payment

The Manston airport site Photo Swift Aerial Photography

A report by the Planning Inspectorate to submit a recommendation over the development consent order for the Manston airport site has been delayed because a final fee is yet to be processed.

The report was due to go to the Secretary of State for Transport on Wednesday (October 9) but a final payment from RiverOak Strategic Partners – which made the DCO submission – is outstanding, said the Planning Inspectorate.

The Planning Inspectorate examining panel, led by Kelvin McDonald, examined the bid earlier this year that was made by RSP to  acquire the site and create a cargo hub and associated aviation business.

The land was owned by Stone Hill Park, which had submitted a planning application to create up to 3,700 homes, business and leisure and associated infrastructure. SHP sold the site to RSP subsidiary RiverOak MSE Ltd for £16.5 million in July, just days before the hearings concluded.

The sale contained a clause which means RSP cannot sell the land until 2029 unless SHP agree.

The report by PINs following the hearing will not be sent to the Secretary of State until final examination fees from RSP are received.

A spokesperson at the Planning Inspectorate said: “Wednesday’s deadline was for the Examining Authority (Panel of Inspectors) to send the recommendation report to the Secretary of State for Transport.

“We have however decided to extend the recommendation period, as allowed for under the infrastructure planning (fees) regulations 2010 until payment of the outstanding final examination fee is received.

“Following receipt of the final payment and the Recommendation being sent, the Secretary of State has three months to make a decision. The Recommendation will be published at the same time as the decision.”

A spokesperson for RSP said the payment had been sent on time.

They added: “The payment, by cheque, was sent on time – with a scanned copy provided to PINS for their information. We’re advised that the envelope is being processed through the government’s mail vetting system and will be delivered to the agency which processes such payments, in their next scheduled delivery, on Tuesday.”

DCO approval is still needed for the cargo hub project with a decision from the Secretary of State expected by January 2020.


  1. A sensible precaution to scan cheque but personally I would have sent by signed for next day delivery as proof of sending and receipt.

  2. It is not RSP’s fault that the government department only receives it’s post once a week. Yes RSP could have sent a same day CHAPS payment but some government departments still insist on cheques!
    To cover themselves RSP sent a scanned copy of the cheque to PINS.
    I think this report is a little skewed.
    Am looking forward to Tuesday and this papers acknowledgement of the payment being done.

    • “Yes RSP could have sent a same day CHAPS payment but some government departments still insist on cheques!” but no proof PINS is one of them.
      BACS ensures payment on time and cleared funds.
      RSP failed to pay SHP for access
      RSP failed to pay the CAA in 2017
      there is a track record of forgetfulness it seems

      • RSP did not fail to pay SHP, they refused to pay the sums demanded for access and subsequently requested an order under the DCO process to gain access.
        Timing on the CAA was always driven by the DCO Process, you have short memories but the original DCO was pulled.
        Only sight of the actual account would prove what valid methods of payment are.
        I had to sign off payment for a Radio telecommunications Licence recently and that was by cheque only for a new installation.

        • More disingenuous comments.
          Read the submitted papers from SHP quite clearly they failed to pay for access as they were required.
          Quite clearly only one DCO has ever been submitted, yes it was pulled because of how bad the 1st attempt was but resubmitted by RSP. a resubmission isn’t a new DCO.
          They submitted an application to the CAA in January 2017 for a cargo airport including night flights. This was disclosed under FOI but the application was discontinued by the CAA as they failed to pay the fee to the CAA.
          It really is amazing how gullible planespotters are.

    • It’s not skewed. It has the PINs statement and the RSP response. There is no speculation in it, it says the payment is not processed. When it is and the report goes to the SoS I shall publish to say so.

  3. Why not pay on the 9th July, or before, when the Examination period ended?
    Remember, Tony Fraudmann has form.
    He’s embezzled the funds of clients, and bamboozled many organisations and local authorities when it comes to developing airports.

  4. So, when Mr Freudmann said that there was a covenant preventing RSP from building houses, he was lying?
    About parr for the course.

  5. When payment is due depends on when PINS submits it’s final account for the examination. RSP is responsible for all costs relating to the DCO Examination and the final bill will be all the examiners costs less the initial upfront payments (an estimate of number of examiners x number of days).

    It is highly unlikely that the Final Account was even ready on the 9th July, as the examiners were still working on the examination phase on the 19th September (as a view of documents accepted will prove) so to say they could be pay on the 9th September is never going to happen.

  6. RSP, with a funding issue? Mr Fruedmann insists “Cheque is in the post” Wonder if, given his record, I would believe that….

  7. God, where do these incompetent so-called entrepreneurs hail from? As people have said in the comments – the cheque’s in the post – unbelievable!

  8. A government agency only accepts payment by cheque & processes them once a week? No wonder nothing ever gets done in this country.

  9. RSP are an incompetent shambles. Only the anti housing plane spotters seem unable to recognise this. Obsessive local support for a giant dirty cargo hub which will create less jobs than Wetherspoons. Really? We are not fooled. I doubt the inspectors will be either.

  10. Just hope that the airport gets going and no more houses are built in Thanet. Spent half the day stuck in traffic jams heading between Ramsgate/Westwood/Margate.

    • The existence, or not, of an airport at Manston and the number of houses built in Thanet, are totally unconnected.
      Where have you been?

    • As the traffic problems in Thanet seem to play a large part in people’s wish for an airport at Manston, perhaps there should be a local campaign lobbying for a big improvement in public transport so that people wouldn’t need to travel by car so much. After all, the local campaign supporting an airport had the effect of stymieing the proposed local plan which would have incorporated a mixed-use development at the ex-airport site.

  11. For those making excuses for RSP’s failure it will pay you to actually look on the PIS site where is clearly says the payment was due at the end of the examination stage.

    The Examination completed on the 9th of July 2019
    There can be no viable excuse ………………..bit like Sally’s plans

  12. What is categorically true is that the decision will not be made by 9 January 2020 this has been verified by the UK Planning Inspectorate. The SMAa advert is advertising known untruths.

  13. It’s now more than a week since this cheque was supposed to have arrived at the planning inspectorate. The “clearing” excuse is not going to hold water. Time to start asking what has happened to the cheque.

  14. Oct 9th was the day the recommendation should have been sent to the SoS.
    It still hasn’t.
    It follows that the PINS haven’t yet got the outstanding money.
    I wonder why?

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