Transport Minister decision on Manston airport Development Consent Order delayed again

The Manston airport site Photo Frank Leppard

A decision by the Secretary of State in the long running saga over the development consent order application to create a cargo hub at the Manston airport site has been delayed yet again.

The decision was initially due on January 18 but this was  delayed until May 18. A written statement to Parliament was made by Nusrat Ghani, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, just two days prior to reveal that news.

However, no announcement was made on Monday (May 18) leaving residents, both those in favour and those opposed, frustrated as they awaited an outcome.

Now it has been revealed there will be no decision announcement until July 10.

Image Richard Townshend / CC  (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)

In a written statement from Transport Minister Andrew Stephenson today (May 20) it says: “I have been asked by my Right Honourable Friend, the Secretary of State, to make this Written Ministerial Statement. This statement concerns the application of July 17, 2018, made by RiverOak Strategic Partners Ltd (“the Applicant”) under the Planning Act 2008 for the proposed reopening and development of Manston Airport in Kent.

“Under sub-section 107(1) of the Planning Act 2008, the Secretary of State must make his decision within 3 months of receipt of the Examining Authority’s report unless exercising the power under sub-section 107(3) to extend the deadline and make a Statement to the House of Parliament announcing the new deadline.

“The Secretary of State received the Examining Authority’s report on the Manston Airport Development Consent Order application on October 18, 2019, and, following an earlier extension of 4 months, the current deadline for a decision is May 18 2020.

“The deadline for the decision is now to be extended to July 10, 2020, to enable further work to be carried out before determination of the application. The decision to set a new deadline is without prejudice to the decision on whether to grant development consent.”

The airport was bought by Stagecoach tycoon in November 2013 and closed in May 2014 with the loss of 144 jobs.

In the six years since the site has been the focus of dispute with the community split over its future use.

RiverOak Strategic Partners submitted a DCO application in July 2018 in a bid to gain compulsory buy-out powers over the Manston airport site. The firm, which had withdrawn its initial application in May of that year,  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.

But the Manston airport site was owned by Stone Hill Park which had 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 2018.

More than 2,000 representations were 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 Planning Inspectorate examining panel, led by Kelvin McDonald, examined the bid last year, with hearings and site visits running between January and July. These covered a number of contentious issues surrounding the application, including night flights, noise and noise compensation, land values, funding and funders and the question of whether the project is needed.

However, shortly before the hearings concluded SHP sold the site to RSP subsidiary RiverOak MSE Ltd for £16.5 million.

One casualty of the airport land row was Thanet’s UKIP administration which was destroyed by the disagreement over the site’s designation in the Draft Thanet Local Plan.

Thanet UKIP leader Chris Wells suffered a humiliating blow when, in January 2018,  12 of his party aligned with the Conservatives and three Independents to vote down taking the Local Plan to the publication stage.

An amendment  to defer for two years the mixed-use designation at the Manston site pending the resolution of the DCO process was not enough to persuade the majority of councillors to back the plan.

That vote, and the subsequent formation of a new independent group by the UKIP ‘rebels’ helped to sink the administration with Chris Wells resigning in February 2018 and the Conservatives then taking the helm.

Tony Freudmann of RSP

A spokesperson for RSP said the delay was ‘disappointing, adding: “While this further delay is perhaps understandable, due to the Government’s workload during the current pandemic  – and is only a matter of weeks – it is nevertheless disappointing, as this pandemic has starkly demonstrated the urgent need to address the fragility and inflexibility of the UK’s air cargo network, which currently relies almost exclusively on passenger aircraft to carry freight.

“We remain committed to spending £300 million on reopening Manston as a global freight hub, which would enable the airport to help the UK trade across the globe and import vital and time-sensitive goods as the nation seeks to rebuild after Coronavirus.

“The case for Manston has bever been stronger. It is widely accepted that demand for passenger air travel will take a number of years to return to pre-pandemic levels, if ever, whereas resilient cargo capacity has become even more urgent.

“As the global economy starts to re-energise and the UK, separated from the EU, negotiates trade deals around the world, Manston could be in a position to address this gap in the UK’s trading infrastructure – providing dedicated air freight capacity adjacent to the London Airports System, free of the uncertainties that face airports reliant solely, or predominantly, on the income from passenger traffic.

“This delay does not affect the current CAA airspace change consultation process – which is entirely separate from the DCO –  and although we will strive to meet our planned opening date, this delay is likely to result in it being pushed back.”

Sir Roger Gale

North Thanet`s MP, Sir Roger Gale, has this morning welcomed the announcement of the new date for the determination of the DCO on Manston Airport.

He said: “While the delay was frustrating, if necessary, the confirmation of a Ministerial Statement in early July is a considerable improvement upon the three-month “guesstimate”  that I had feared we might find ourselves faced with.

“I continue to look for a positive outcome that will confirm investor confidence and facilitate the commitment of £300 million of job-creating funds to the development of an environmentally  world-leading International freight hub and passenger facility. This will send a clear signal that a post-Covid, post-Brexit Britain will be very much back in business.”

A spokesperson for the No Night Flight campaign group said: “No Night Flights is disappointed at the delay in the decision for the DCO of Manston Airport. It leaves yet more uncertainty about Ramsgate, Herne Bay and the area’s future. We therefore await the announcement in July.”

Save Manston Airport association said: “SMAa are appalled that RiverOak and their investors have been kept in the dark, and kept waiting again. We urge SMAa members to hang in there, we will still await the recreation of Manston Airport.”

Thanet District Council leader Cllr Rick Everitt said: “The continued uncertainty caused by this delay is damaging for Ramsgate, worrying for residents and frustrating for the council, making it difficult to plan for the future. It is also difficult to understand why the government allowed the media to believe a decision was imminent this week. If further work is genuinely needed it seems hard to believe that this was discovered at the last minute.”

Timeline

October 2013: Infratil announce the sale of Manston airport to Stagecoach tycoon Ann Gloag for a nominal £1, plus accrued debts.

November 2013:  Ann Gloag’s Manston Skyport takes over the airport

March 2014: Ann Gloag announces plans to close the airport

April 9, 2014: The last Dutch airline KLM flight leaves Manston

April 2014: Newmarket Holidays said its Verona and Naples seasonal charter flights would move to the expanding Lydd Airport

May 15, 2014:  The airport closes with the loss of 144 jobs. An offer of the £7million asking price for the site by US firm RiverOak Corporation is refused. The payment was offered in a deal where Ann Gloag was asked to leave Skyport’s £2million in the bank account making a net £5million offer.

June 2014: A petition with about 7,700 signatures, to support a compulsory purchase order to preserve Manston airport for aviation purposes, was presented to Thanet District Council

July 2014: Flying school TG Aviation lose a High Court battle to use the runway despite still having 50 years to run on their lease. The company is forced to move to Lydd

July 2014: Thanet District Council (TDC) agrees to investigate raising a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) on Manston airport.

July 2014: A petition with  26,524  signatures protesting against the closure of Manston is handed to 10 Downing Street by MPs Sir Roger Gale and Laura Sandys and campaigners

July 2014: US company RiverOak  writes to Thanet council offering to buy and run the airport and say they will fully cover all costs, including the CPO.

By James Stewart from England (commons.wikimedia)

July 2014: There is a fire sale of Manston assets

August 2014: TDC issue a formal notice and the process of finding an indemnity partner for the Manston CPO begins

September 2014: The site has new owners – Chris Musgrave and Trevor Cartner of Discovery Park. A second sale is held.

December 2014: The Labour controlled council decide not to proceed with a CPO stating there was not a suitable indemnity partner

February and March 2015: Transport Select Committee looks at the Manston airport issue as part of its examination of smaller UK airports. Pauline Bradley, Director, Manston Skyport Limited and Alastair Welch, Interim Director, Kent Airport Limited, are grilled about the ownership of the Manston airport site but the question is never fully answered.

June 2015: An Independent review by PwC, on behalf of the Department for Transport, into the process on decisions about the future of Manston Airport is completed. The report is critical of Thanet council’s approach to the CPO indemnity process.

June 2015: Planning application received by TDC for change of use of Building 870 followed by applications for change of use of four hangars on the site to non-aviation use.

The same month a presentation is given and the name Stone Hill Park is revealed for the site by Mr Cartner and Mr Musgrave.

Manston airport

July 2015: It was announced that the site may be used to house overflow lorries from Operation Stack. This did not take place

October 2015: The planning application for change of use of airport buildings is refused.

The same month TDC Cabinet agree to take no further CPO action on Manston saying RiverOak do not meet the indemnity requirements.

November 2015: Thanet council announces a further soft marketing exercise for Manston airport

December 2015: It was announced that RiverOak would undertake a Development Consent Order (DCO) process to acquire permission from central government to reopen the airport

 January 2016: Lothian Shelf (718) appeal the decision of the Planning Committee over Building 870 and the non-determination of the other three applications.

February 2016: Thanet District Council announced a total of five expressions of interest had been received, with three being carried forward to the next stage of the CPO process

June 2016: SHP submit a masterplan planning application to Thanet District Council, seeking permission for 2,500 homes, commercial sectors and public parkland, under the name Stone Hill Park.

October 2016: It is reported SHP received payments totalling £3.539 million from the Department for Transport to keep Manston airport on standby as a lorry park

October 2016: AviaSolutions publishes its report, commissioned by Thanet council at a cost of £50,000, into the viability of Manston’s future. The conclusion of the report was ‘airport operations at Manston are very unlikely to be financially viable in the longer term and almost certainly not possible in the period to 2031’.

Thanet council say the report means  the authority does not have sufficient evidence to continue to designate the site ‘for aviation use only’ within its Local Plan.

MP Sir Roger Gale says he will quit politics if Manston does not reopen as an airport.

The same month Lib Dem Russ Timpson suggests Manston could be used for aircraft salvage or the development of a space port.

June 2016: A report to Thanet council Cabinet members on the latest round of soft market testing concludes: “Cabinet note the results of the soft market testing assessment and take no further action in respect of the interested parties.”

Discovery Park

November 2016: Mr Cartner and Mr Musgrave sell Discovery Park to an investment company to concentrate on their plans as majority shareholders, with partner Ann Gloag, for Stone Hill Park.

December 2016: UK registered RiverOak Strategic Partners Ltd buys the financial, strategic and operational responsibility for the redevelopment of Manston and seeing through the DCO from the US RiverOak corporation. The US firm is no longer involved with the Manston project.

January 2017: Plans to axe the aviation-use only designation at Manston airport go out to public consultation as part of the draft Local Plan.

February 2017: Disruptive Capital, with financier Edi Truell as chairman, say they will commission a report on their plans for aviation use at Manston airport

An appeal to change the use of 4 Manston buildings

March 2017A public inquiry hearing into the refusal of change of use applications for four buildings on the airport site is held.

The hearing also leads to questions about RSP’s funding vehicle M.I.O Investments, which is registered in Belize.

The same month SHP unveils heritage plans for the Manston site

April 2017: RSP threatens legal action over an email which RiverOak Strategic Partners Ltd (RSP) say Cllr Wells sent to 35 members of the authority and which, they say, contained defamatory allegations against RSP and  M.I.O Investments.

The same month RSP publishes three parts of a four part report outlining its future proposals and criticising a previous airport viability study commissioned by Thanet council.

The study on behalf of Riveroak Strategic Partners forms part of the Development Consent Order process.

May 2017: An unnamed US logistics firm announces its interest in taking ownership of Manston and plans to put £100m into the site. Represented by Dale Crawford of DTD Consult the firm says the aim is to relocate 12 aircraft currently in Europe to the Manston site and plan to gain a compulsory purchase order for the 750-acre plot.

SHP say they have no interest in selling the site.

May 2017: Following meetings with Thanet council Dale Crawford says the American firm is looking at options for a direct purchase. A deal does not come to fruition.

July 2017: The decision of a Public Inquiry over Lothian Shelf ‘s (718) appeal to allow the re-designation of buildings on Manston Airport for non-aviation use is released.

Government Inspector Matthew Nunn dismisses all four appeals. He said to grant the appeals “would be likely to compromise any future aviation use of the airport.” The outcome meant TDC Policy EC4 remained, reserving aviation only use for the Manston airport site.

November 2017: The government announces the deal to extend the arrangement to use the Manston site for Operation Stack if needed.

Councillors voted the plan down

January 2018: Thanet’s Draft Local Plan is voted down by councillors who object to the aviation only clause for the site being removed. The vote leads to a split in the Thanet UKIP group and the eventual demise of the party being in control of TDC. It also results in government intervention aimed at getting a plan in place.

DCO documents

April 2018: RSP lodges the DCO with the Planning Inspectorate

Enhanced plans from SHP

May 2018: SHP submits enhanced plans to Thanet council for development at the site

May 2018: The same day it is announced that RSP has ‘temporarily’ withdrawn the DCO

May 2018: The Planning Inspectorate publishes a response to questions from Ramsgate Town Councillor Susan Kennedy over the withdrawn submission. PINS outline their ‘concerns’ with the current application.

June 2018: Stone Hill Park (SHP) announces it is in talks with Homes England to support the redevelopment of the airport site at Manston through the £3billion Home Building Fund.

July 2018: Thanet council Cabinet members voted to move forward with a new option on the Thanet Draft Local Plan for 2,500 homes allocated to the villages, Margate and Westwood instead of the Manston airport site – but also striking out both the policies (SP05 and EC4) in place to protect aviation.

July 2018: Kent County Council urges the Government to make use of lorry parking facilities at the Manston airport site as part of preparations for Brexit.

Then-leader of KCC Paul Carter said contingency plans needed to be put in place to minimise disruption on strategic routes through the county and that an alternative to Operation Stack had to be found before new border and customs arrangements are introduced for the UK withdrawal from the European Union.

July 2018: RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) re-submits its application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) for the Manston airport site.

The DCO seeks development consent and compulsory acquisition powers over the land. A DCO is the means of obtaining permission for developments categorised as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP). This includes energy, transport, water and waste projects.

August 2018: The Development Consent Order application is accepted for the pre-examination stage by the Planning Inspectorate.

September 2018: The decision on Stone Hill Park’s application to build houses, business and leisure facilities on the Manston airport site should have been considered by Thanet council’s planning committee by August 15 but ‘the complexity’ of the situation leads to an agreed extension of December 31.

December 2018: PINs publishes the timetable for hearings and deadlines for information to be submitted during the examination of the DCO application.

January 2019: The first ‘issue specific’ hearing into the Development Consent Order application  by firm RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP)  begins at Margate Winter Gardens.

HGV trial at Manston Photo Frank Leppard

January 2019: A special development order designating the Manston airport site for use as a lorry park to cope with possible post-Brexit jams at the Port of Dover comes into effect.

The order ‘augmented’ the deal to use Manston as a short-term solution for Operation Stack which was first struck with then-site owners Stone Hill Park in August 2015 following a Summer of disruption due to French strikes and growing migrant camps in Calais.

January 2019: A cover letter from RSP to the Planning Inspectorate says it is restructuring in response to concerns about its funding vehicle M.I.O Investments Limited, which holds 90% of shares in the company but is registered in Belize. The remaining 10% of its shares are held by RiverOak Manston Ltd

M.I.O Investments Limited ultimate beneficial owners are resident in Switzerland and the UK. It is managed and administered by Helix Fiduciary AG, a Swiss registered and regulated fiduciary company.

March 2019: An unexploded wartime bomb uncovered on the Manston airport site on March 14) is detonated by an Army bomb squad.

A Royal Logistic Corps Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team was called in yesterday morning to help Kent Police deal with the device.

Photo Swift Aerial Photography

March 2019:  Works well underway at the Manston airport site in preparation to stack up to 6,000 lorries for the anticipated UK exit from the European Union.

May 2019: The Manston airport site is stood down from immediate readiness as a ‘No Deal Brexit’ lorry park.

The RTC meeting at the Oddfellows

May 2019: Ramsgate Town Council sponsors a public meeting to discuss the proposed Development Consent Order to reopen and develop the former airfield at Manston, by RiverOak Strategic Partners.

January-July 2019: The PINs Examination hearings for the DCO take place, led by Kelvin McDonald, and cover a number of contentious issues surrounding the application, including night flights, noise and noise compensation, land values, funding and funders and the question of whether the project is needed.

Other areas raised are job creation, infrastructure investment and potential economic boost for Thanet and east kent.

Representations are made by a wide variety of organisations, including Thanet council and Historic England, campaign groups including Save Manston Airport association, Supporters of Manston Airport, No Night Flights and Nethercourt Action Group, numerous individuals and both Manston museums.

Further questions are raised about business plan forecasts, road networks and the proposed use of the Northern Grass.

The question of land contamination was also been raised with the likely presence of firefighting foam residual chemical PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid ) in the land and water.

July 2019: Contracts  exchanged agreeing the sale of the Manston airport site to RiverOak Strategic Partners subsidiary RiverOak MSE Ltd, by sellers Stone Hill Park. RiverOak Strategic Partners reportedly paid £16.5 million. SHP owned 742 acres of the site, which totals around 770 acres, with the remaining plots belonging to other interested parties.

Stone Hill Park withdraws enhanced planning proposals for homes, business and leisure on the Manston airport site.

Manston airport site Photo Frank Leppard

October 2019: A report by the Planning Inspectorate to submit a recommendation over the development consent order for the Manston airport site is delayed because a final fee is yet to be processed. A week later the recommendation report is sent to the Secretary of State

January 2020: The decision by the Secretary of State over the development consent order to create a cargo hub at the Manston airport site is pushed back by four months.

The decision had been due on January 18 but a written statement to Parliament made by Nusrat Ghani, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, says the latest delay means the outcome will be announced on May 18.

January 2020: Submission of yet another round of comments and further information is requested by the Secretary of State for Transport before a decision  over the development consent order will be made.

February 2020: Controversial plans for a third runway at Heathrow airport are deemed unlawful because climate commitments were not taken into account.

The Court of Appeal judgement follows a case launched by environmental campaigners. Judges said for the third runway to go ahead it would have to fit with UK climate policy.

February 2020: Submissions made to PINs in January are published.

May 2020: The May 18 deadline comes and goes with no decision announcement. On May 20 it is revealed that the decision has been pushed back again until July 10, 2020.

64 Comments

    • That rather presupposes that the PI has approved the DCO, subject to certain conditions. In which case the PI had ignored ALL the evidence about atms and so on.

  1. Dear Kathy

    Infratil was Anne gloags brother Brian souter. They both own stagecoach. So Tony Freudman bought it from MOD sold it to souter, he sells it to Cartner and musgrave they sell it to Tony Freudman.
    Land banking… Comes to mind regardless of
    Why are planning officers hell bent on agreeing that GY of Bircham Dyson Bell offshore leaks Mossack fenseca.

    I want officers and the council to resign over this.

    Even Infratil was registered as 50 Lothian Square all the subsidiaries were offshore leaks with Brian souter and Anne Gloag.
    Yes I can prove all this.

    We, Sir Roger do not want criminals working on our airport. GY and TF, BS and AG and CT and MS

  2. Andrew, I suspect the contrary. PINS knows this is a dead duck and RSP and Roger are desperate to get it over the line at whatever cost.

    Well done on the time line IOTN, a comprehensive summary of the ongoing suffering of Ramsgate at the hands of the pet projects of a vocal minority and the Thanet cheer leading MPs, and all the evidence suggests support IS a minority.

    I’m also glad to see this article doesn’t have Roger making up more of his spin. We know his comments yesterday are entirely inaccurate given that PINS has confirmed when the decision is published, so too will their October recommendations report, unedited and unchanged.

    Quite what the DoT is doing in the interim is anyone’s guess.

    • I can guess. It is all becoming clearer as these hold-ups continue. The Planning Inspectorate recommended against the DCO to the DOT, but Grant Shapps being mates with everyone in aviation is desperately trying to find a reason to overcome the recommendation so he can give his mates a positive result. SRG knows this and that is why he keeps giving the confident news updates to the media saying the waiting will be good in the end. If the SOS does pass this attempt at a DCO for Manston he must know he will have lawyers and courts to face. He must know he will look as daft as the previous SOS – Chris Grayling after the Ramsgate Harbour deal going pear-shaped with all the scandal involved. There should be a limit to the time, well, actually 3 months is the limit in having a decision ready, but this keeps getting extended whilst the desperation increases for GS.
      How corrupt will this end up is the all important question.

  3. This can only be the beginning of the end of this ridiculous idea! Should Manston reopen it will destroy hundreds of jobs in the tourist hospitality industry, as cargo (no passengers) will fly in over Ramsgate Harbour at just 300 meters, descending over the town at 250/200 meters, and St Lawrence/Nethercourt at 150/100 meters, (I have the calculations!). Manston is less than two miles from the town, and the plan is for 2 to 3 aircraft an hour, 24 hours a day! The air and noise pollution will be horrendous, devaluing businesses, and property! Jobs, what jobs, unless there are unemployed jet engine fitters in Thanet, sitting around waiting to maintain cargo planes, otherwise they will have to move here! Yes, a few forklift truck drivers may be needed, to load thousands of trucks, as they speed off to London, so where will the drivers come from?

    The DCO has to show that reopening Manston for cargo aircraft is a “Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project”. Well, there is plenty of spare cargo aircraft capacity in many better located airports, like Biggin Hill for instance, near Bromley! This is located close to the M25, so cargo could be trucked anywhere in the UK from there, but there are others, Luton, Southend, and the midland for instance! Its beyond me why both Thanet MP’s are promoting this nonsense, when neither of them actually live in Thanet!

  4. That’s right if some of you can’t get your own way by trying to keep east Kent the most deprived area in Kent. Then you act like children and talk of back handers and conspiracies. The facts are our two MPs [who most of you voted in] are trying their best to bring employment to this area and all the moaners can do is…….well moan. Some of you want to be very careful with your accusations ( Rebecca / Emmline / Dumpton) We brought up our family living under the flight path of Manston Airport and it never did us any harm, planes were a lot noisier then than they are now. Go and moan about something else what about picking on the Seagulls they fly over lots of times m sure once Manston is up and running you will find something else to yap about.

    • So much for your lies yesterday Ann about someone telling you the DCO would be approved today, then refusing to answer Who that might be! Please stop your lies and spiteful attempts to show up anyone you disagree with.

    • You continue to post erroneous information. You don’t live anywhere near the flightpath now, and what is proposed is so completely different from what you’ve experienced in the past. Also, there are very few jobs coming with the airport, and far more likely to be lost in the tourist industry. Those of us who don’t want the airport are very keen to see Thanet improve, and the best way of achieving that is not to open a cargo hub. I don’t understand why you are so hell bent on rubbishing those who have Thanet’s best interests at heart.

    • You never experienced low flying jet aircraft 2 to 3 an hour, 24 hours a day did you? You never experienced the same air pollution, that kills 40,000 people a year in the UK now did you? The noise pollution alone will devalue thousands of properties, and businesses, ruin night time sleep, and make it impossible for children to be taught! Did you ever experience the horrendous scream of jet engines as they roar up Ramsgate High Street, I did, and it halts any conversation, and because they approach without warning over Ramsgate Harbour, they are heart stopping! Forget having a nice drink or meal al fresco around the harbour, and no tourist will ever want to come back again, after having sleepless nights, and being poisoned by air pollution! Jobs, who will get them? There is an Employment Agency in Ramsgate, where you will see at least 6 o7 unskilled labour jobs in the window at any time, why? Because they can’t get people to take them! Thanet has very low unemployment now, so anyone taking Jobs will come from elsewhere, not Thanet! Moaning, yes, but I would prefer to see weekly demonstrations against this proposal, because people are going to suffer, badly, if it literally takes off!

  5. Your previous publication on this included a blatant lie by a local MP, blaming the delay on planning officers. Was this a misquote on your part if not are you not concerned about this?

    • Liars thrive at TDC.. Thanet Deceivers Corruption.
      Get Ramsgate to be public enquiry
      Get Manston
      Get dreamland
      Lido
      Primark… Enquires due to offshore leaks

      Sack planning

  6. Government delays just go to prove how ‘nationally important’ the airport is…. it isn’t…..

    They can reopen it as a small regional airport, that is all what it will ever be, it is never going to earn any money for their invisible investors.

    Although they ‘promise’ never to build any houses there, it isn’t worth the paper the agreement is written on and 10 years in nothing in land banking terms which is all this is and that is where the profits are !

  7. Funny how Sir Rogeroak seems to think that a business that doesn’t exist, with no customers and run by people who have no success at running airports properly will suddenly become “world leading” !!!!

    “I continue to look for a positive outcome that will confirm investor confidence and facilitate the commitment of £300 million of job-creating funds to the development of an environmentally world-leading International freight hub and passenger facility.”

  8. I never mentioned back handers Ann, you did. People are allowed an opinion. We don’t have to defer to an MP who isn’t even our MP for trying to ruin Ramsgate against all sensible and factual evidence to the contrary. We also are allowed to challenge his domination of the media headlines when they are neither objective nor factual.

    There are far better economic recovery strategies for Thanet than a dud airport flying in freeze dried fish. The harbour, the port, the tourist and creative economies, the building economy, the retail sector, the science and innovation space. All of these are worthy of investment, all would create jobs.

  9. What’s ironic is on the television south east news on all channels the residents of Crawley are all saying how terrible it will be if BA and Virgin put out of Gatwick and the loss of trade will force many businesses to fail. Yet here we are in East Kent with an excellent airport waiting for lift off that will boost our economy 100 fold yet all we here from the doom and gloomers is moan moan moan. Manston Airport will be reopening get over it.

    • “boost our economy 100 fold” what are you basing that on, or just making it up like the 30,000 jobs Riveroak say they will be creating 🙂

    • Where’s this “excellent airport”?
      The only one near here that I know of was a serial failure, part if the time under Tony Freudmann’s watch; it never made a profit, it was losing £10,000 a day when it finally closed, over its lifetime it lost £100,000,000s, in its latter days what few planes flew were more than half empty.
      Is that the “excellent airport ” to which you are referring?

    • Gatwick is 10 miles from the M25, has a direct 30 minute train from Victoria and has a fast M way link. We have none of that and never will

  10. Is the excellent airport you refer to the one that went bust 5 times?

    Gatwick and Crawley residents also don’t live 500 feet directly under a flight path. Unlike Ramsgate.

    Gatwick has developed based on its commercial success. Manston went bust because of its commercial failure.

  11. A cargo hub airport is such a bad idea for Ramsgate, the worst. Roger Gale, Craig Mackinlay, everyone involved, must see it – as it would destroy the area. Planes, noise, and pollution are wrong; there is no doubt about this. The environment, peoples wellbeing, and the continued development of tourism are all positive.

  12. Yes Manston Airport did go bust in the past the Viking landed on our coast in the past. We were in the EU in the past.
    The past is past. Looking at the above photo of those in the Hall I would guess the majority are retired and past it. Not having to worry about employment and not giving a fig about others who are looking for work. Very selfish outlook indeed the “I’m alright jack” crowed. Probably the same ones who loved Thatcher. Well she thankfully is also in the past.

    • Having looked at the attendance at SMAa BBQ’s lovely cakes BTW far too many are as old and past it
      Maybe with age becomes a little hard of hearing just like Sir Rog

  13. Here at North Foreland I look forward to looking up from my swimming pool and watching the aircraft heading towards Manston Airport. knowing that it will be the best thing to happen to East Kent for many many years. For 45 years we lived in Ashburnham Road right under the flight path and yes so is North Foreland.

    • my God you live in North Foreland! Miles from the flightpath. How dare you lecture those of us who will have planes flying 500ft above our homes!

    • North Foreland is not and never has been “under the flightpath”
      unless the pilot is lost

    • Just like another Pro Supporter who moved away from Nethercourt under the flight path to live in Ash.

    • North Foreland is NOT under the flight path, its miles away from it. The flight path starts ten miles out to sea, and approaches over Ramsgate Harbour, the town, St Lawrence, and Nethercourt, Duurh! I think you should start taking more water with it, Ann!

  14. Ann, you have already proved yourself not worthy of listening to with your hypercritical and victorian views. You openly lied in a comment yesterday.
    Whether for or against the airport, everyone deserves a say without being bullied or ridiculed so please keep it civil and stop looking to bring others you do not agree with down within your own comments. That goes for everyone!

  15. Ha ha Kent Resident you crack me up. You tell everyone not to be rude then you are very rude in your comments. What I find so frustrating about this is so many moan about something because they like to moan. When did I lie????
    I never did lie and I am far from Victorian. Be polite you say. Yes like you eh.

      • Ann, I read your comment on a previous news post that you said something to the effect that someone has told you that the DCO would be passed the next day! Anyone could say that, but you used it like a quote someone high up had given you secret information, which obviously they had not, nobody would have that kind of information to give to a mere supporter. It is obvious You was just hopeful in your desire. But saying things like that just makes your comment feeble and unworthy of reading. I know you will continue with this nonsense so what next?

  16. ” Looking at the above photo of those in the Hall I would guess the majority are retired and past it. Not having to worry about employment and not giving a fig about others who are looking for work.”
    Lovely.
    Ok, let’s put aside the past and its dismal record of failure both of Manston as an airport and Tony Freudmann as a CEO (and solicitor ..).
    Let’s look at the very, very present.
    The CEO (a proper one) of Heathrow airport says that business is so bad,(and even once CV is over, it still will be) that it will be between 10-15 years before Heathrow will need a 3rd runway.
    So: no shortage of capacity in that proper hub, Heathrow.
    Why there is there any need at all to reopen Manston?

  17. This whole ‘Fraud’ would of collapsed if it wasn’t for sir Roger Gales under the table corrupted ways

  18. O and by the way Ann at 12:26pm as someone who met Fraudmann though sir Roger gale I can assure you Gale is as bent as a three speed walking stick and Fraudmann never had real intentions on the airport, ask sir RogerOak why he never wanted to talk to anybody else on the airport ‘deal’only Fraudmann! then ask David Smith CBE of KCC and see/hear for yourself what Gale has been upto for his peices of silver?

  19. April timeline on events has the bit missing on the investor pulling out for legal resoans which by the way was a lie.

  20. Seems “Ann” and Gale were telling porkies. I wonder will you be challenging Gale on this ?

  21. Well sir Roger Gale MP fancy your chances in a court of law about what I have to say on your corrupt ways regarding Fraudmanns con/fraud on the airport/has it covered contaminated land deal…

  22. What makes no sense to me at all is why Roger Gale is quite so obsessed about a cargo operation. It simply makes no sense and the DCO content is incomplete, incompetent, incoherent and grossly insulting to Ramsgate.

    What IS going on here? Why has Ramsgate become the crap sandwich filling between a plane owning SoS, an airline owning MP to the south and an airline obsessive MP to the north all washed down with UKIP scones and some clotted thinking.

  23. An RSP spokesman: “The case for Manston has bever been stronger. It is widely accepted that demand for passenger air travel will take a number of years to return to pre-pandemic levels, if ever, whereas resilient cargo capacity has become even more urgent.”
    RSP seem to have lost sight of the simple fact that fewer passenger aircraft will allow more dedicated freight capacity at UK airports that are already open and critically have better transport connections than Manston can ever have. Why on earth would you take the risk if you were an investor. This ludicrous plan to open Manston as a cargo only airport has zero viability in the foreseeable future but now we have to wait until July to hear the inevitable conclusion.

  24. Paul Fay

    The IoT News timeline is OK. But there are significant and consistent omissions. Statutory Duties upon Thanet District Council in Environmental Protection, NHS Planning and Planning Law.

    2007 The Drinking Water Inspectorate issued warnings re the highly persistent highly toxic “PFOA” residue of firefighting foam. Manston sat over a water supply aquifer A water supply never tested for PFOA contamination.

    2008 Steve Ladyman MP was alerted to the fact TDC was not compliant with statutory duties under Environmental Protection Act 1990. As far as burials of toxic polychlorinated biphenyls by GEC were reported to Ladyman it appears the Cllr and MP offloaded research to a local blogger ! Who appears to have concealed the reports in his correspondence to then CEO Richard Samuel.

    2009 The new Public Health England issued PFOA warnings.

    2012 the Health and Social Care Act created further statutory duties on councils to report environmental hazards to health to NHS via Clinical Commissioning Groups. TDC never complied.

    2014 draft contracted investor Paul Fay was introduced to Economic Regeneration Director of KCC David Smith. April 2014 which is odd as Smith took up the KCC post six months later ! Suspecting fraud, involving continued breaches of statutory duties by TDC, Paul Fay withdrew. He was told Environmental problems are “Covered” and Paul washed his hands of Gale and “Fraudman”

    But obeying statutory reporting duties Paul reported the facts to Chief constable. It was Chief constable decision to raise inquiry by his economic crime unit. There is also stator duty to report in money laundering and terrorism law which Paul obeyed when reporting facts to police.

  25. 2019 the United Nations Stockholm Convention upped PFOA to maximum hazard to health status. The Environment Agency will begin enforcement in about a years time.

    At the time of the UN decision SHP flogged Manston at top dollar to RSP. (Conditional RSP cannot sell on until ten years elapse ?) Bet SHP laughed all the way to the bank.

  26. THE WORLD IS OUT OF CONTROL AND FAST BECOMING A DESTROYED PLANET.
    WHAT WITH GLOBAL WARMING, THE EXISTENCE OF OUR WILDLIFE BECOMING ALMOST AT THE POINT OF EXTINCTION, WARS AND FAMINE, HOMELESSNESS, RACISM, HUNGER, DRUGS, MURDER, SHEER HUMAN GREED AND SELFISHNESS. MONEY….THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL AND CORRUPTION WITHIN SOCIETY.
    AND THEY WANT TO PUT MORE PLANES IN THE AIR.
    ROGER GALE AND HIS ASSOCIATES SHOULD HANG THEIR HEADS IN SHAME.
    THINK ABOUT THE NEXT GENERATIONS AND STOP BEING SO SHORT SIGHTED AND SELF EGOTISTICAL.
    SAVE THE PLANET FOR GODS SAKE.

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