Permission granted for Manston airport development

Manston airport site Photo Swift Aerial Photography

The decision on a development consent order for the Manston airport site has been announced today (July 9) – a day earlier than expected.

The Department of Transport has approved the application to create an air freight hub at the site despite the Examining Authority panel of Martin Broderick, Jonathan Hockley, Kelvin MacDonald and Jonathan Manning recommending to the Secretary of State that development consent should not be granted.

Supporters of the plan say it will create employment, increase infrastructure investment and boost the economy but those opposed to the DCO say there are issues including noise, night flights and the impact on tourism.

The approval makes Manston the first ever site to gain a DCO for an airport.

The application was accepted for examination in August 2018 and it was completed on 9 July 2019. The examination was conducted on the basis of written and oral submissions submitted to the ExA and by eight issue-specific hearings, two compulsory acquisition hearings and four open floor hearings held in Margate and Sandwich. The ExA also conducted one unaccompanied site inspection in January 2019 and one accompanied site inspection in March 2019.

The DCO aim was to revive aviation at the site with a cargo hub and associated business. The process was the means of obtaining permission for developments categorised as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP).

RSP plans for Manston airport

RSP says it will reopen the airport in a £300m project to create an air freight hub with passenger services and business aviation. Plans for construction will be phased over 15 years and will include 19 freight stands and four passenger stands for aircraft as well as warehousing and fuel storage to meet the forecast demand.

There are also plans for education and training, flight training school,business aviation and passenger services. RSP previously announced a partnership with Securitas to implement and operate a full suite of fire and security services at the site.

RSP aims to handle some 10,000 air cargo movements a year by its sixth year of operation equating to 14 arrivals and 14 departures a day, around two flights an hour “during normal operating hours.”

The application was opposed by then- Manston airport site owners Stone Hill Park which had lodged an application to develop housing, leisure and business on the land.

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 nationally significant, as well as examining job creation, infrastructure investment, economic benefits and community pledges.

Those giving views included 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.

However, shortly before the hearings concluded SHP sold the site to RSP subsidiary RiverOak MSE Ltd for £16.5 million, negating the need for compulsory buy out powers as part of the DCO.

Examining Panel and Secretary of State comments

The Examining panel, in their recommendation for refusal of the DCO application said: “the Development appears to offer no obvious advantages to outweigh the strong competition that such airports offer. The ExA has therefore concluded that the Applicant has failed to demonstrate sufficient need for the development, additional to (or different from) the need which is met by the provision of existing airports.”

The panel conclusion was that the socio-economic benefits of the Development were overstated, and that the Development would have an adverse effect on tourism in Ramsgate. The panel said that the Applicant’s education, training and skills commitments would benefit Thanet and East Kent. When taken together the ExA considered the Development would still generate a socio-economic benefit to Thanet and East Kent, but such benefits were substantially lower than that forecast by the Applicant.

However, the letter on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport disagreed with that conclusion, saying: “The Secretary of State disagrees and concludes that there is a clear case of need for the Development which existing airports
(Heathrow, Stansted, EMA and others able to handle freight) would not bring about to the same extent or at all.

“The Secretary of State concludes that significant economic and socioeconomic benefits would flow from the Development to Thanet and East Kent as well as more widely including employment creation, education and training, leisure and tourism, benefits to general aviation and regeneration benefits.

“In conclusion, the Secretary of State considers that the public benefits significantly outweigh the harm caused by the Development due to noise and vibration impacts, taking into account the restrictions to be imposed by him, and also acknowledging that the airport has operated lawfully without restrictions in the past.”

The Secretary of State noted the panel’s view that the jobs created would not be to the same extent as forecast by the Applicant but said that significant economic and socio-economic benefits would flow from the development to Thanet and East Kent as well as more widely including employment creation, benefits to general aviation and regeneration benefits.

The letter adds: “In reaching that view, the Secretary of State notes the ExA’s view that the Development may adversely affect the tourism industry in Ramsgate. Whilst he is sympathetic to any residents and business holders that may be affected, he also notes the ExA’s overall view that it would increase the attraction of tourists to other parts of Thanet and the wider East Kent area.”

Restrictions to be imposed by the Secretary of State  include:

  • A ban on night flights – restricting scheduled flights between 23:00 and 06:00 and a restriction on noisier aircraft between 06:00 to 07:00
  • Noise Quota Counts (“QCs”) to control noise impacts  – setting a QC for aircraft in the 06:00 to 07:00 period and restricting noisier aircraft with QC 4, 8 or 16 to mitigate noise in the late part of the night-time quota period
  • Contour to limit annual noise emissions – the contour area and relevant noise contours are secured in the DCO  and the contour area cap is considered a reasonable approach to mitigate and minimise the population exposed to aircraft noise above the day and night-time Lowest Observed Adverse Effect Level (“LOAEL” – the level above which adverse effects on health and quality of life can be detected)
  • Residential properties –with habitable rooms within the 60dB LAeq (16 hour) day time contour will be eligible for noise insulation and ventilation detailed in the noise mitigation plan
  • Schools – the restrictions on passenger air transport departures is, with the funding commitments for insulation and ventilation in the UU in favour of Kent County Council, considered adequate to avoid significant adverse noise effects
  • Caps on the annual air traffic movements for cargo, passenger and general aviation to the worst-case assessment in the Environmental Statement
  • The establishment of a robust monitoring, auditing and reporting scheme not just for noise, but covering monitoring in all aspects of potential effects

Reaction

RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP), who applied for the DCO, they are delighted permission has been granted for an international air freight hub and passenger airfield.

They say the government’s decision to grant RSP’s application for a Development Consent Order will create over 23,000 jobs across East Kent and the wider national economy by the airport’s 20th year of operation.  Construction will begin in 2021 with the airport operating its first cargo services in the first quarter of 2023.

RSP say  COVID-19 virus has demonstrated the fragility and inflexibility of the UK’s air cargo network, which relies almost exclusively on passenger aircraft to carry freight, as well as the urgent need to keep air freight going. It is widely accepted that demand for passenger air travel will take a number of years to return to pre-pandemic levels, if it ever does, and so building the UK’s specialist freight capacity has become even more vital.

RSP has committed to an investment of £300 million to rebuild Manston as a global freight hub, which will enable the airport to fulfil its role in helping the UK trade across the globe and to import vital and time-sensitive goods, including fresh fruit and medical supplies.

Tony Freudmann of RSP

Tony Freudmann, director of RSP said: “Once built, Manston will be one of the most modern, efficient and environmentally friendly freight hubs in the world, able to cater for traditional freight as well as the rapidly expanding international e-commerce sector that the UK has so heavily relied upon during the period of lock down.

“It is not lost on RSP how much support we have received from the Thanet and East Kent community and, in particular, from our two dedicated local MPs, Sir Roger Gale and Craig Mackinlay, since the start of the DCO process.

“We are also grateful for the long term view taken by our investment partners. Even before the DCO was granted, they demonstrated their commitment to the local area. The recent £100,000 donation to Age UK Thanet to support its work with isolated older people has been crucial during this difficult time. We have also been involved with a project to bring thousands of trees to six sites in Thanet, part of a longer term commitment to investing in the communities  and the environment around the airport.

“Alongside the work needed to return Manston to operational status, we will now be accelerating both our local procurement programme and the work of the Manston Skills and Employment Board, in partnership with a wide range of business, education, training and local authority organisations, to ensure local people have the skills and experienced needed to benefit from a wide variety of airport jobs.

“After two years of detailed scrutiny of our plans by the Planning Inspectorate and Department for Transport, it is wonderful to have Government support. We can now focus on investing in Thanet and East Kent, creating jobs, and inspiring new generations through our active support for training, education and careers advice for all age groups.”

Law firm BDB Pitmans acted for RiverOak Strategic Partners Ltd. Angus Walker, Partner at BDB Pitmans, said: BDB Pitmans have maintained their 100% record of obtaining DCOs for their clients with the first ever airport DCO for Manston in East Kent. This is a significant achievement, not least given recent events such as the Court of Appeal decision to strike down the Airports National Policy Statement.”

No Night Flights

A spokesperson for the No Nights Flights campaign group said: “We are incredulous that the SoS would override a recommendation from the planning inspectorate NOT to grant the DCO and will be reviewing our options to challenge this and protect our town from this horrible blight, a blight which will threaten thousands of jobs and the tourism economy as a whole”

Sir Roger Gale

Sir Roger Gale MP

North Thanet MP, Sir Roger Gale said: “I am delighted that the Government has given the go-ahead to the redevelopment and reopening of Manston Airport.  This national asset has been closed for far too long but it can now play a critical role in delivering jobs and investment to Thanet, and the wider Kent and UK economy.  Manston has been an airport for more than a hundred years and this decision unlocks many millions of pounds of investment.

“I would like to thank RSP, their investors and my constituents who have campaigned tirelessly since the Airport was closed in 2014 to get it re-opened and who have demonstrated courage and tenacity in their determination to realise Manston`s `front line potential` once again.

“Post-Brexit Britain is going to need additional air freight capacity and Manston can offer this swiftly.”

Save Manston Airport association

SMAa said: “The SMAa committee is proud to announce that after almost 3 years of hard work and dedication from all its members, and especially RSP, the Development Consent Order (DCO) has been GRANTED by the Secretary of State for Transport.
“This go-ahead from the government now enables RSP to invest over £300m into rebuilding a state-of-the-art 21st century airport at Manston, which includes an air freight hub and proposals to develop aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities and end-of-life recycling facilities; a flight training school; a fixed base operation for executive travel and business facilities for aviation related organisations. We hope for the airport to re-open late 2023.
“This will create many much needed jobs for the Thanet and east Kent area, and will enable rejuvenation of the local economy. As well as jobs, SMAa and RSP have worked closely with local schools, colleges and universities to promote and advertise STEM and aviation-related studies, in the form of apprenticeships, the construction of an onsite-aviation college and collaboration with local educational establishments to create opportunity and experience.
“We would like to thank our many thousands of members and all local people that took part in the examination for the DCO, and would like to pay a very special thanks to RSP, who have been in the fight with us from the very beginning, well over 6 years.
“A special thanks goes out to our excellent MP Sir Roger Gale, for his tireless and relentless hard work during the campaign – keeping the government, all 3 administrations since this fight began, on its toes and informed as to the latest in our campaign.”

Thanet council leader Rick Everitt

Leader of Thanet District Council, Cllr Rick Everitt said: “The council welcomes the fact that the Secretary of State has issued his decision over the Development Consent Order, as continuing uncertainty over the future of this important site is damaging in itself.

“We understand that Manston is an emotive issue for residents on both sides of the debate and for those in Ramsgate in particular.

“In terms of the council’s position, we need to address this decision through the review and update of the Local Plan, in line with the Local Plan Inspectors’ recommendations.

“We’ve had no opportunity to read or consider the decision in detail in advance of today’s announcement and as such it would be inappropriate for the council to make any further response at this stage.”

County councillor Karen Constantine

Karen Constantine has resigned as a district councillor

Cllr Constantine said: “This is a surprising result, which goes against the evidence that flights and noise significantly damage the health of people living under flights paths and nearby.

“Elsewhere in the country people are vigorously campaigning against detrimental airport expansions. I expect to see an exodus of people and businesses who have invested in Ramsgate. There is no doubt that aircraft and air cargo in particular will damage our tourism offer and our quality of life.

“I expect to see a reinvigorated campaign to continue to challenge this development. Of course the prospect of jobs are very much welcomed, especially at this time where employment prospects don’t look strong across Thanet. Of course before any plans can come to fruition we will need to see all the necessary funding in place to take this development from drawing board to reality.

“I remain sceptical that this will happen as air cargo capacity exists elsewhere and the tide is turning against flying as we all look towards a greener future.”

MP Craig Mackinlay

Craig Mackinlay

The South Thanet MP said: “I am delighted with the Secretary of State’s decision. We can now get Manston up and flying again providing post-Brexit Britain with the additional airfreight and passenger capacity we need.

“The re-opening of Manston will generate a substantial number of jobs in a relatively short period of time. East Kent stands out as an area of high unemployment compared to South East norms; we have an asset in Manston that can play a key role in improving the economic strength of our area.

“The reality is that high value global trade will continue to be transported by aircraft. Manston has been an airport for more than a hundred years, is designated an airport in the Local Plan and provides a ‘spade ready’ and rapid solution to assist in the country’s new global position outside the EU.

“I look forward to working with RSP, Sir Roger Gale MP, as well as our local authorities and central government to deliver on the promises I made at successive elections to support the re-opening of Manston Airport.

“After what has been a very challenging time for everyone, this is news that should put a spring in our step. A great day for Thanet.”

Save Manston Airport

Dan Light, on behalf of the campaign group, said: “The day has finally come and Manston Airport will be reopening as a functioning freight (and later a passenger) hub. This has taken six years to achieve. I started this in March 2014 and never in my wildest dreams did I think the group would take us this far.

“I wanted to make everyone aware but didn’t quite know how to go about it all and I learned as I went along. I was joined by Keith Churcher who had previously been part of a local campaign in Medway and his experience and ideas helped me through. The likes of Dot Favell came along who dug deep with a lot of information to help the campaign and has stuck through it all keeping the group ticking over alongside myself.

“I feel the real work was done outside Facebook because it would have been just another ‘group’ otherwise. We all fought hard in the best way possible, we got answers, we did what we needed to do to fight to get this airport back. We took to the streets, we protested, we didn’t take no for an answer! We stayed true to the campaign and look at the result! RSP have stuck with this and kept to their word and for that we thank you! well done!

“On behalf of myself, Keith, Dot, Lesley, Paul and all old admin I want to say thank you all for your efforts! We conquered in our own way. Unfortunately a few splits happened but we all took the time to get to the common goal of the right result.”

Thanet Green Party

Thanet Green Party leader Mike Garner said: “We are frankly astonished at the Minister of Transport’s decision to overrule the Planning Inspectorate’s recommendations and approve the DCO for Manston.

“He’s ignored all the facts considered by the Examining Authority, recent court rulings on the Government’s climate commitments and the devastating impact of Covid on the aviation sector. The decision will inevitably be challenged in the courts, meaning this sorry saga will drag on well into the future, with inevitable negative effects on all of us in Thanet.”

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.

Covid test centre Photo Frank Leppard
July 2020: The site is used as a Covid test centre. The Department for Transport grants the DCO

177 Comments

    • Haha Ann

      Offshore leaks money launderers

      Wait for it freudman already has had our taxes in the last time he was in charge… Criminals and this is criminaly insane

        • I think that most of us know that Tony Freudmann is an ex-solicitor, struck off for embezzlement. Many of us are aware that the backers of RSP are based in that off-shore tax haven the British Virgin Islands, having moved there from Belize.
          A few of us know that Mr Freudmann has for many years overseen the demise of airports all over the world, including Manston.

    • Sheer lunacy! This will trash Ramsgate especially the Harbour, all those in favour of reopening Manston, don’t live under the flight path, so won’t be affected! There should be a plebiscite and only those people living under the flight paths should be allowed to vote in favour or not! Why should people who won’t be affected by all the noise, air pollution etc be allowed to destroy the lives, of those people who will have their property devalued, and their health impacted?

      • This is great news for the much needed employment of the area. I don’t see how is going to ruin the harbour as you put it. Other things they are exploring is using the harbour so freight landed at manston are shipped from the harbour you the Thames etc rather than pollute and block roads with lorries. I lived under the flight path but think this is great job need for Ramsgate and Thanet

      • There has been an airfield at Manston for 100years. How long have the moaners lived there knowing of its existance?

    • The airport as a cargo hub wont work – the report pretty much says this. We’ll be left with various attempts at trying to make it work whilst no-one invests in the area because of the airport. I think we’ll in for another 20 year of under investment in Thanet and low employment not without the DCO but because of the DCO.

  1. Means nothing without the £££ to spend and the businesses that want to move there, all part of the long term plan to bypass the local council and put houses there….

    There is no profit in it as an airport and never has been !

  2. Good luck getting the MOD to move the high resolution detection finder.

    What a stink this makes. The inspectors say no, but Grant (I own a plane) disagrees and so does Roger n Craig. Our cheerleading plane spotting MPs.

    Watch Ramsgate tourist and housing economy go down the toilet.

    • Unbelievable! Coronavirus has damaged the aviation industry badly,the planning inspectorate recommended rejection- yet this DCO has been granted!

      Still , there’s not much chance of its doing well- the site is still exactly where it was.

    • Tourism was never adversely affected when Manston was running previously. Obviously there were and always will be, moaners in whatever situation, not just airports. I am prejudiced as I worked there for almost thirty years both RAF and Civil. I am now 86 so unlikely to get another job there!

      • Nobody is moaning. RSP’s alleged plans are for far more flights than the old airport had. I can’t understand why anybody living in the area would want a busy airport nearby especially as RSP say it would be a cargo airport with few jobs. The decision to grant the DCO is irrational,given the evidence presented and the planning inspectorate’s recommendation to refuse.

        • A lot of those people living near big and busy airports usually work at them, the rest have learnt to live with the constant pollution and noise. Many complain about them getting bigger. At Ramsgate though, nobody has had that experience, unless coming from one of the big airport regions. The people that want Manston to be the next huge freight airport have now got their wish. Wait until it all starts up and see how many stay put, if they ever lived there in the first place. The disrupting noise will be the first thing you notice, followed by the breathing pollutants from fuel. If the virus doesn’t get you then the airport will.
          Gale is wrong to claim the airport has been there over a hundred years. A strip of grass and some spitfires is not an airport. The commercial side was never a winner and this guy who is the spokesman for RSP has failed in all his projects so far, so not a good example to be taking on a DCO for any significant infrastructure project at Manston of all places when there are easier and better projects to be planned at other mainland airports. It doesn’t make sense this decision.

  3. Now that the DCO has been granted there is no reason for the actual investors to be identified openly. Will RSP now please tell us who is stumping up the £300 milion.

  4. Faaaaaaaantastict news… Down with the naysayers…up with the forward thinking. Thanet is grateful…

      • If you’ve read the news,FREIGHT will be taken to the Harbour then by boat up to the London area

        • Thought this was only a rumour. If they run the port as well it will be win win….and then more win win….!

        • Edifi

          you don’t seriously believe that ? Freight is all about cost and you believe its cheaper to fly to Manston unload onto HGV’s to move it to Ramsgate Port, than on a barge up to London to unload and put it back on HGV’s and than join the M25
          When you can land at Gatwick unload onto HGV’s and straight onto the M25 or by rail

          • All the haters and moaners,and tree hugging activists, u all need to get a grip!!
            This is going to bring jobs and £££ for the area and economy.
            People of Thanet need to realise that Manston is part of your history!
            And again I still say,IF passenger flights resume,are still going to travel 2 hrs up to Heathrow,Gatwick or Stanstead???

  5. Ramsgate and Thanet as a whole are now blighted further with this crass decision. Brown envelopes are always a winner with these Tories. There needs to be an independent review for the high courts. Where is this mysterious money coming from that has never been made public along with the investors?

  6. This is the best news Thanet has had for years. I cannot believe it has taken so long to fight off all those selfish NIMBYS – Manston has had a airport for longer than most people have been alive. The almost criminal attempt to turn it in to a huge housing estate just for profit was thwarted and now the economy can finally have a chance grow in an area which has been so neglected for so long – A triumph for common sense, long may it continue.

      • I have no idea what you think you just said, but it has confirmed my opinion of those who tried to block this project!

      • This site is not for you, this is a page for debate, not the gutter language that you have just used.

      • Rebecca do you work ? I suspect not with your limited intelligence and use of the English language.
        You are a parasite on the face of Thanet, if you don’t like the idea of the airport then move somewhere else!

    • Won’t be long then before those noisy stinking cargo planes start taking off and passing low right over your property then. LOL!!

        • If you read RSP’s proposal (I guess you havent) you will have seen that RSP plans to use planes with such a bad noise coefficient that they are banned from Heathrow.
          Modern jets .right be quieter, but they are not quiet.

      • Mitzi, you show complete incompetence. You have no idea what you’re talking about.

        If you feel that way and you continue to cry, then move! The airport was here long before you were. Grow up, kid.

  7. Disaster. All those that wanted this will suffer the consequences. There will not be thousands of jobs, maybe a few hundred if you are lucky, there will be noise, more noise, even more noise and pollution and more HGV traffic in and out of Manston. I wonder if the prospective residents of the new pleasurama appartments will enjoy this one? At least they will bring cash into the community. Will the schoolchildren under the flightpaths be wearing ear defenders and facemasks? I just hope RSP goes bust like all the others that got it wrong.

  8. “Once built, Manston will be one of the most modern, efficient and environmentally friendly freight hubs in the world”

    Easy with no businesses wanting to use it !!

    • And in doing so will not have many jobs as it was be as automated as possible….
      Still we’ll have up to 200 extra lorries up and down the Thanet way each day! The fact that the committee recommended against reopening says it all…….and no one has mentioned where all this business is coming from? It’s a bit like “build it and they will come”. No wonder the. Committee voted No
      The skilled jobs at the airport will almost certainly go to people moving here from elsewhere so not doing much for local people

  9. Oh dear what a depressed lot the very small number of anti Manston are. We have been getting daily bulletins of companies making thousands upon thousands of unemployed yet in this area we are lucky enough in East Kent with two excellent MPs who have helped to bring about the reopening of Manston airport where hundreds of millions of pounds is going to be invested. The moaners are worried about one person and one person only themselves. We Should be extremely grateful that this size of investment has been given to East Kent for his long-term future.
    To those who don’t want to live near the Airport I say move away then, you won’t have to pay stamp duty for six months, go on move away and moan somewhere else.

    • Ann, you airport fans really confused ‘anti airport’ with ‘don’t trust RSP as far as you can throw them’ and not blinkered at what is really happening…..

        • I am not a snowflake, of course, but someone who does not want Ramsgate to be blighted by noise and pollution.

          • The airport was here long before you were here. Simple as that.

            You knew an airport would be here, if you don’t like it, then move. Simple.

    • Ann well those to MPs don’t come from North or south Thanet. The amount of jobs lost in the aviation industry is phenomenal investment in a white elephant is fine it will give a few work for a year or two at most. Good luck unemployment will be greater than it is now in Thanet look at all the houses being built here how many will be employed at the airport thousands no not a chance it will be One or two hundred at the most. Great prosperity in Thanet I just can’t see I hope it does but the figures just don’t add up for it to happen. There will be no shortage of pilots but not from thanet there already trained and live in Surrey and Sussex and Berkshire areas they won’t be from thanet.

  10. As this will promote jobs and income, I hope the extortionate amount of Ramsgate Town Council Tax will be reduced. For to long Ramsgate residents have paid well in excess of other Town Councils.

  11. The best news for Thanet in a long time! The whole debacle of the airport closed by Ann Gloag was the best thing that ever happened for it. The campaign and fight that followed to get it open again has finally resulted in it having the best chance ever of becoming a proper airport, with the strongest plan for its future ever. A sorry chapter of speculators and cronies greedily eyeing up the land and holding the airport back now over. Well and truly kicked into touch. Great news for Ramsgate, Thanet, Kent and the renewed UK econony

  12. Appalling news how can they go against recommendations to not open. Air freight is in decline and the major airports with the infrastructure already in place have capacity – wonder how many brown envelopes have swapped hands

  13. Not entirely surprising from a Government who appear to believe lying to the electorate on almost a daily basis is acceptable. It is interesting to note the planning inspectorate recommended refusal and a political decision has then been made by Shapps and Tolhurst. However on a more positive note we do know that RSP is led by someone who has shown repeatedly in the past that his number one attribute in business is financial failure and I see no reason why Manston will be any different. Even if it does eventually open as a freight hub it is unlikely to last long given the competition from already open airports that have far better transport connections that Manston can ever have. If I had wanted to live under a flight path I could easily have moved to Crawley or Hounslow rather than Ramsgate and I fear this decision will now blight the further development of our town as a tourist and leisure destination. Fortunately I have a choice of whether I remain or not but there are many who have no choice but to remain.

  14. We always knew political will was strong. What a crock of croneyism. Boys with toys and their own runway. Well let’s see shall we.

  15. Fantastic news for East Kent and Thanet, no surprise County councillor Karen Constantine shows how out of touch she is with the majority of Thanet, there will be an influx of inward investment of jobs and jobs creation for the area, education and for once an opportunity Thanet has never been afforded ever, a chance for residents to not just rely on seasonal work, a chance for the areas poor to get out of poverty they find themselves in.
    Only the people who wish to keep the status quo of people in poor accommodation and paltry paying seasonal jobs are the losers of this fantastic decision.

  16. Oh dear! All you people so unhappy about this exciting news. Look on the bright side, with the airport open you will be able to escape quicker lol!

    • Its going to be a freight hub not an airport so unless you want to climb in a pallet with some vegetables you won’t be going anywhere!

    • Lucy escape quicker to where? It’s going to be a cargo hub not a passenger airport. What part of that do you not get.

    • Escape to where Lucy? What other place has a Royal Harbour and wondersul architecture? The tourist trade that currently brings in money will be decimated

      • What ‘tourist trade’ will be decimated. For the past few years the tourist trade in Ramsgate has been dead. I lived in Ramsgate from 1946 to when I got married in 1968 and during this time, despite the fact that Manston, at the time was a military airfield tourism was never a problem. Off course then we had Merrie England (later renamed Pleasureama) and the Marina swimming pool. What people don’t seem to realise is when the talk of creating jobs is mentioned it is not only those at Manston but of businesses that will be needed to supply the resources to the airport. I would also mention that when I lived in Ramsgate I did in fact live virtually across the road from Manston on the Newington estate.

  17. Thanet businessman are you really a businessman or is that a name you just like to call yourself. Unbelievable.

    • Ann he is right thanetbusinessman is correct lies after lies and more lies from advising idiot who goes to see his family for a holiday.

  18. Together with so very many others, I am delighted by this news. This area desperately needs investment and the possibility of new jobs – especially now. And to all against this – the NIMBYs in this community – I hope you back up your convictions by NEVER taking another flight in your life – or don’t you care about other communities who live near other airports who presumably suffer the noise and problems you claim will now blight this area?

    • Another stupid comment from Rebecca.

      This one nation Conservative government has done more in such a small amount of time then any Labour snowflake government would have done in over 20 years!

      Stop crying!

    • Ramsgate is a beautiful town, lovely beaches. I was about to buy a house there until I found out about Manston airport plans and pulled out. Did a lot of research on what it’s like to live under a flight path. This isn’t going to be like the old airport. If it does ever get off the ground it will total ruin the quality of life there. Noise compensation and ventilation schemes. Have a look at the Southend. Not something I could live with. It’s v sad that government has overturned planning rejection recommendation.

  19. Manston airport was there way before nethercourt estate and most houses In ramsgate, was a major airport in both world wars,played a major role, if most ramsgate people from the 1940s was still alive and heard all these people saying it shouldn’t be an airport there would have been a riot in the town,

    • Only trouble there is that we are not living in the 1940’s now are we? No cargo planes back then just a grass strip and a few fighter planes. All you oldies that have lived next to Manston and reminisce what it was like back then, you have no idea what you have let yourselves in for. There will be no comparisons.

  20. In the present climate this must be a good idea. It will bring jobs that are much needed in East Kent. I perfectly understand the opposition to the airport and the arguments have been taken into consideration. It’s not ideal but it’s going to boost the area . I hope that this isn’t going to be a white elephant.

  21. Will there be a Britain left for the airport to work for. Our GDP has crashed since 2014. Brexit, Johnson, Corona…….only a war is left to do.

  22. The Examining Authority (planning professionals) recommended that the DCO should not be granted on the basis that the need for it hadn’t been evident. A Conservative politician has over ruled the planning inspectorate. This was on the basis that the Govt want Britain to be the best connected country in the world (or is that world beating?). I’m guessing they only want a photo opportunity for Boris to wear a hard hat and sit on a bulldozer.

  23. Devastating news. So gutted that this has been,granted. So the Examination Authority looked at all the facts, weighed it up and REJECTED it. Government then approved it. Disgusting way to treat people. This will ruin Ramsgate. I would move my my home is now blighted.

  24. Well done to this conservative one nation government for granting permission.

    It’s a shame these leftie snowflakes don’t understand the facts about the application in the first place.

    Also these kids saying they don’t want the noise. The airport was here long before you was. Suck it up snowflakes.

    Great decision

      • You act like it, Marva. Granted I’ve agreed with some of the stuff you’ve said lately but you have some of the most extreme left views that I’ve ever heard. That’s saying something because I have been working and known sleepy Barry Lewis for many years! But that doesn’t change the fact that you don’t act your age.

        You moan about the airport, but, it was here long before you and will now still be here, long after you. Let that sink in. Now wipe your tears away.

        • How should someone in their sixties act,Box?

          I am not crying, merely reading with disbelief the expressions of support for an airport a very few miles from Ramsgate.

          • Then move, Marva. What don’t you understand about that? You’re the small minority that opposed the plans, and you lost. Suck it up.

            The airport was here before you and it will be here long after you. You have no right to cry about it. If you want to cry, then move. I couldn’t make it simpler than that.

        • Which extreme left views do you think I hold, Box? I have always been a socialist, of course.

    • Hard to take your opinion seriously when you feel the need to bark, ‘snowflake’ every other post.

      We get it you’ve learnt a new word. So cool and edgy.

        • If you look at the responses published on the PINS web site, you’ll see that a majority of the contributors opposed the airport.
          But that’s just a fact so won’t interest Mr Box.

          • Of course he won’t listen Andrew. But he has chosen to call himself The Box and guess what it’s an empty one

        • I’m not crying and I don’t intend to move . Those who oppose the airport plans have lost nothing except their belief that the decision would be made on rational, factual grounds and not because of what seems like political machinations.

        • The box just because something has been there for years upon years it does not stop it from becoming out dated and obsolete. It is is past its time, its been out of use for years it’s dead loss at the moment, and when something is dead we put it in a Box and bury6ft under and leave the airport to good memories we had of it not keeping on flogging a dead horse.

    • Why are people so blinkered, Thanet is getting the housing quota and they will be built in Thanet elsewhere

      The airport say they will employ 23,000 people, they will need a lot of houses 🙂

      • Good question,where are they going to put 23 thousand homes? At westwood? with its busy roads.

        • Westwood x been doing it for a few years now hundreds more already agreed. Most will come from the pilots out around the m25 no where near thanet more unemployed than now.

    • Totally agree,plus history of Manston RAF is being is still there,always in our hearts.Praps this doesn’t mean much to some! Good luck Manston? George.

    • Er no. Instead of building them at Manston the new plan has shifted them to Birchington and Westgate. Cheers for tgat

  25. At the end of the day this is just a big planning application that bypasses the local council.

    There is no guarantee the investors are there with the money
    There is no guarantee if and when it might happen
    There is no guarantee that businesses want to move there
    There is no guarantee it will be profitable and stay in business
    There is no guarantee there won’t be future applications for other uses
    There is no guarantee they will get a CAA licences

    What is guaranteed is that all the houses are still coming to Thanet, just not on Manston….

  26. Fantastic news which proves how six years of hard work can pay off through people power and not taking no for an answer. Pro airport campaigners have fought off a millionaire to get their airport back.
    To the naysayers, well least Thanet will have more jobs and opportunities, the area cant just thrive on ‘cafe culture’ alone during the summer months.

    • So it wasnt anything to do with getting £16 million for something you only paid quid for?

  27. This announcement in the same week Thanet Council are advertising for a Climate Change Officer.

  28. Fantastic!!! Really looking forward to the additional noise and air pollution.

    Always surprised by how many people are so keen to live under a flight path.

    I’d be very surprised if the number of jobs projected ever materialised and if these ‘new jobs’ would actually go to locals who currently reside in Thanet.

  29. Interesting to note that one of the reasons given by the PI for saying “no” to the DCO was RSPs failure to demonstrate need. That was the opinion of professional planners, experts in aviation.
    Since the onset of CV, aviation has just about collapsed. Gatwick is on the verge of closure. BA is laying off 10,000s.
    So, after we’ve all finished jumping up and down and singing “Those magnificent men in their flying machines” – just where will the business come from?
    Answers, please, on the back of an airmail envelope.

  30. These are the facts from the ExA report
    8.3.1. The ExA has found that the Proposed Development will result in demonstrable benefits in terms of socio-economic matters. The ExA considers that only moderate weight should be afforded to such benefits for the reasons that have been set out above.
    8.3.2. On the other hand, the ExA has found that:
     The Applicant’s failure to demonstrate sufficient need for the Proposed Development, additional to (or different from) the need which is met by the provision of existing airports, is important and relevant against the case for development consent being given;
     The impacts on climate change of the Proposed Development weigh moderately against the case for development consent being given;
     The impacts on heritage assets of the Proposed Development weigh moderately against the case for development consent being given;
     The impacts of noise and vibration resulting from of the Proposed Development weigh moderately against the case for development consent being given;
     Operational matters weigh moderately against the case for development consent being given; and
     Matters related to traffic and transport weigh substantially against the case for development consent being given.
    8.3.3. The ExA has found that there would not be unacceptable impacts in terms of air quality; biodiversity; ground conditions; landscape, design and visual impact; and water resources.
    8.3.4. The ExA considers that when these factors are weighed against each other, either individually or in combination, the identified impacts of the Proposed Development are not outweighed by the benefits.
    8.3.5. Given this, the ExA concludes that a case for development consent has not been demonstrated.
    8.3.6. Further, in relation to HRA, the ExA concludes that it must recommend refusal to the SoS as the competent authority for the decision as to whether to grant development consent.
    This is a perverse decision from the SoS and deserves to go to court

  31. The worst possible result for RSP and Tony Freudmann.
    They’ve now got to find £300,000,000 (would you invest in Aviation generally in the current climate, let alone the serially failing Manston Airport led by the serial failure and embezzler Tony Freudmann) and someone with planes and cargo daft enough to fly into Manston, so that the cargoes can be transferred to lorries, driven down to the port, put on electric barges and sailed up the Thames to London. Electric barges? Yes, you read it in IoTN some months ago.

    On the other hand for a fraction of the outlay, much bigger returns, and without having to cope with difficulties like HRDF and night flights and noise contours etc, RSP could just build houses. And no, there is no covenant that says they can’t.

  32. Is there any point left in us having a planning system?
    An expert panel spends months examining the evidence in detail and concludes, unsurprisingly, that the DCO should be rejected.
    Yet at the stroke of a pen, its recommendation is rendered worthless – overturned by the Secretary of State, doubtless influenced by the truly appalling behaviour of our MPs in their shameless promotion of RiverOak.

  33. This seems like a corrupt decision made by a few that stand to gain financially. Can’t get a new runway at Heathrow? Then dump one on an area who’s voice won’t get heard above the roaring noise of a stream of stinking cargo planes. It will not bring wealth to the area. The airport will be like a bloated, polluting cancer that sucks the life out of its surroundings. Humanity scores an own goal again.

  34. This doesnt make any sense, non what is ever. The aircraft industry is in free fall, lots of spare capacity at Gatwick, Luton, Stansted etc. Yet the government wants to allow a cargo hub in the bottom right hand corner of England !
    Manston has terrible road links and no rail links, no fuel on tap !

    The government needs to give its head a wobble.

    Still on the bright side
    1, it will never open
    2, it will go bust very soon.

      • It was a military airport for years which is totally different to a stand alone airport. As a stand alone airport it has gone bust 3 or 4 times now.
        People need to stop comparing RAF Manston to a stand alone airport.

      • I don’t see how anyone moving will actually make the airport work. It never did in the past: it lost millions. Best expert opinion said that nothing has changed.
        But now things have changed. We’ve got CV, and the bottom has fallen out of the aviation business. Around 95% of flights are not happening. That means that airports such as Heathrow, Gatwick, EMA and so on have 95% spare capacity.
        Just who is going to use Manston, still in the bottom right hand corner of the UK?

    • That’s just it, it isnt common sence , it just makes no sence just has a horrible smell to me.

      No decent road links
      No rail links
      No national fuel grind
      No past history of the airport being a commercial success.
      No real jobs for thanet.

      Should manston open

      Lots more fuel tankers on the M2/thanet way
      Lots more HGV’s on the M2/thanet way
      Lots of people moving to the area to work at manston as thanet hasnt got the skills needed.
      So the need for more house being built in the villages.
      Higher pollutants as cargo companies use older planes.

      Why would companies come to the bottom of England when they can land on the middle of the country?
      How is manston going to uncut Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted, Luton, Midlands etc all those all on the fuel grin, so cheaper fuel. All are by good road and rail links.
      Manston offers nothing.

  35. RAF never needed to show a profit. They were happy to share their airport with others, probably at beneficial rates as the services were present anyway. RAF moved out and every commercial venture failed thereafter apart from the flying school. I see no logical reason that any other company will fare any better.

  36. Gutted. Heavy freight, noise and pollution over our lovely town. Who would want this? Hope it fails as soon as possible.

    • True. However it has to open before it can fail and there is every likelihood that it will ever open based on the evidence submitted or rather not submitted to PINS on the source of the funding required. Buying the site was a good move as it will always have a value for purposes other than an airport but finding the very much larger sum required to develop it and to lure freight customers away from already existing and operational airports like Stansted, Heathrow and East Midlands is another matter entirely.

  37. This is the best news Thanet has had since that awful Gloag woman closed the place down in 2014. It’s been a long hard struggle, but now the ice has cracked.
    Time to get things going.
    There will be many jobs, there will be many planes. Only an Airport can bring this.
    If you don’t like either…. tough!
    Next on the agenda, the Port of Ramsgate!

    • “There will be many jobs, there will be many planes. ”
      Curiously, the ExA agreed with the evidence of the experts. Ie, there won’t be any jobs or planes.

  38. considering the recommendation to government is for refusal, just shows you the corruption thats taking place between government, fraudman, and MPs.

  39. Poor old right wingers putting faith in this spiv Government again. You should get out more.
    The Yes overule decision is just a way for Johnson et al to worm out of another decision. Wise up.

  40. Perverse! page 595
    9.7.16. In considering the evidence as a whole in this report, the ExA
    concludes that the overall need for the Proposed Development is
    only partially established and the ExA has not found such a level
    of need that would meet the criteria of there being a compelling
    case in the public interest for the land to be acquired
    compulsorily; and that, therefore,
    9.7.17. the ExA is not satisfied that there is a compelling case in the
    public interest for the land and rights over land to be acquired
    compulsorily and does not recommend that the requests for CA
    be granted.

  41. More pollution. Now we can also say goodbye to the last of our local farmland as there is now nowhere else to build the thousands of homes thanet is being forced to build.

    This is a travesty. The few hundred maximum jobs that this might create cannot justify the extra noise and particulate pollution we are all going to have to suffer.

    I wonder how many thousands of local people’s health will suffer because of this decision.

  42. Fantastic news so pleased to keep Manston as it always has been an airport and also for the railway as I’m sure we will have shunters yards et cetera we welcome virgin Atlantic please Mr Branson invest in Thanet again this is fantastic news and so excited for all job opportunities and training for local people and businesses as a local man I want to see Thanet strive and put a mark on Great Britain

  43. Well done Riveroak For keeping our history as an airport in Thanet it is served many of times through the years and I’m so glad that it’s going to be an airport in fact let’s call it an International Airport a hub for Great Britain

  44. This is great for Thanet, what is the quickest way to get Marva Rees her tablets and soap for Rebecca Hooper to wash her mouth out, after Brexit, but to fly them in, see, Craig McKinley, thinks of everything, the Freight will be loaded into Containers, then, by train to all parts of the U.K. with Sidings at Manston, Jobs a gooden.

    • Thank you for your concern Tripod, fortunately I am in good health and don’t need any tablets.

    • Sorry to interrupt your fantasy of rail sidings and jumpers for goal posts but rail distribution was never part of the DCO application.

  45. I was 9 in the early 1950’s and moved with my parent’s onto the Newington Estate. At that time the American’s were based at Manston. If people are complaining now about the noise of individual planes flying over, the noise from squadrons of jets flying over was deafening. After a while we got used to it. It did not affect us in anyway whatsoever. Manston created thousands of jobs and I’m sure it will be the same now. So all you whingers stop complaining.

    • Well, Jen Small, I don’t wish to be personally insulting (a well-known tactic of airport supporters) but I do wonder how anyone living directly under a flight path could possibly have been completely unaffected by it and could now be enthusiastically hoping for a new airport which is several orders of magnitude noisier and more polluting than the previous one.

      • I resent your comments, there is no need to resort to being insulting. I merely posted my experiences of living in Ramsgate from 1946 to 1968 when I got married.

    • It never created thousands of jobs and never will. As the inspectorate have pointed out only to be ignored

  46. As a Thanet resident, when you are suffering from noise, pollution, gridlock, bad health, from the unnecessary airport, that you will remember it was a Tory Government that pushed though permission against the recommendation of a properly constituted official inquiry.

  47. So the choice was, re-open as an airport or build 3000 new homes. Let’s have a think…. easy, 3000 homes = 10 to 12 thousand people needing doctors, schools, Jobs! No chance! Or, Airport, jobs created, investment, to an area that’s already set up with infrastructure. I understand why some people are upset but as has been identified many times, the airport was there way before you bought your property under the flight path. I understand the proposed housing would have been offered to several London Councils for them to off-load the poor onto TDC who historically have taken the money to boost their shocking management of the finances for over 40 years. Verdict… no contest.

    • “I understand the proposed housing would have been offered to several London Councils for them to off-load the poor ”
      No, you don’t. That’s just your uninformed prejudice showing.

  48. Dan Light may have started the Save Manston group but he has done nothing the last few years. He’s only good at being a right **** as admin on the SMA facebook group, not to be confused with SMAA.

  49. Boris Johnson opposed a third Heathrow runway, saying that he would “lie down in front of those bulldozers and stop the construction”. Roger Gale has voiced concerns for the health of his family who live in Chiswick, on the Heathrow flight path. Everyone knows an airport is bad news for locals. The politicians wouldn’t wish it on the people they care about which is why they are happy to dump it on Thanet. Craig Mackinlay. An appalling man.

  50. I wonder how Blueberry Homes will cope with this in promoting the Pleasurama development?
    “Luxury homes, stunning sea views, only Royal Harbour in the UK, noisy, dirty cargo aircraft flying directly over your heads from 6 a.m. till 12 p.m”
    A snip at £1,000,000

    • It would be very interesting to hear what Martin Rigden of Blueberry Homes has to say about the potential opening of Manston as a cargo hub. Having planes flying almost directly above the new development on the Pleasurama site will hardly help sell the flats, find tenants for the shops or an operator for the hotel. I do hope this will not cause his company to scale back their plans, as at last this once derelict site is being developed.

  51. The “save manston” campaign has amused me for years. The narrative that “the people of Thanet” were up in arms losing “their” airport was utter nonsense. Barely anyone I know actually cared either way and those that were “save the airport” I had one simple question – Did you ever fly from there and what was it like? – I had several answers…

    “No – cheaper to fly from Gatwick” (that’s from someone up in arms we were losing our airport)

    “No. I don’t like to fly” (again team save manston)

    “No too expensive and not enough flexibility”

    And several others that were the same theme.

    The consensus seemed to be they didn’t want freight as it would be “too loud and 24/7” – these are a few that wanted to save it!

    The narrative in the media was pushed by MPs and investors. There was never a ground swelling of support for the Airport. It’s been a money pit for years.

    It doesn’t mean people wanted 10,000 houses. It’s just they don’t have to be the only two options.

    Now Brexit has meant Thanet and the Craig “the clown” Mackinlay are proud owners of a freight airport.

    Mackinlay is a menace to local society. Doesn’t live here and pushes his xenophobic, brown envelope philosophy on Thanet when we deserve better. Represent your own area you repugnant little man – you abandon local disabled children they get less help here than under other local councils – you want statues of dubious characters to litter our beauty spots (it’s obvious you don’t live local).

    As for Manston it will still fail like it has done time and time again. It won’t create jobs. (Not enough anyway) the land could really boost the economy if it was used to attract new businesses.

    Moronic decision by a Moronic government ignore all the facts and reports and ploughing on with its own agenda.

  52. Great news. Not to everyone but let’s get on and get this done. We don’t need to be sitting on the fence for another five years. This functioned as an airport long before most of us were born and others who moved here. We have lived under the flight path at both ends and we barely noticed any inconvenience. Let’s get the local economy kickstarted again with some new employment opportunities and the airport a focal point again.

    • That’s just it. It never “functioned” as an airport. It lost a vast amount of money. £10,000 a day when it finally closed.

  53. Lots of stuff here. My thoughts are thus. If supporters of the airport are so enthusiastic then there should be a rush to live under the flight path in Nethercourt and so on. I wait with baited breath for the rush. What is that? Oh, you are sorry but you are not willing to do so.

    Lets see what happens to delayed arrivals landing at goodness what time in the early morning. How many are you prepared to listen to. How many delayed night arrivals before it becomes normal. Last I heard was an allowance of 3. 3 too many. I will hear then from my home.

    Maybe the supporters need to now go and ask for upgrades to our roads. 3 lanes on A299 and M2. If you are deluded to believe in the barge idea then you are so daft. Good luck. You will need it. P.S. I am a plane spotter.

  54. Mr Tripod I Agree and with so many others ,just think of your house prices they will go up on Nethercourt no more houses built on manston, and for the comment on blue bury homes I am sure they will love it, don’t you think they done there homework first ,best of luck to them who have the Interest and reVamp of Thanet at hand And for putting the funds in thank you

  55. As there are no logical, practical grounds for granting a DCO for a cargo hub airport at Manston, it seems quite likely that Blueberry Homes did do some research- and that they concluded that 1) there was very little chance of RSP getting their DCO and 2) even if they did there would very little chance of a successful cargo hub on that particular site.

  56. I live in the flight path of manston and my family lived in manston for many many years I’m glad to see it’s been approved at long last now we can move on .

  57. (quote Karen Constantine has resigned as a district councillor) hey hun why not fund a judicial review.
    Rsp if they want to develop the site into a freight facility they will get loans,its how business works use other organisations cash not your own.
    Well before coronavirus there was talk of freight operators (including internet mail/sorting) wanting to amalgamate & expand their UK south operations into cheaper bespoke facility’s. Other UK south airport expansions are in planning but freight operators want a start of business date not maybe’s.
    Bulk freight is reasonably cheap to shift around the world,so much cheaper than shifting SLF (self loading freight=passengers).
    since the Dco was qualified,that parcel of land has significantly increased in value. Hopefully rsp & partners will develop the site to a freight facility and other associated aircraft services.

    Its doable !

  58. Why can’t some of the Pro Supporters enjoy their ‘victory’ without resorting to nasty insults. In all fairness SMAA are deleting any insulting comments unlike the other group, SMA, led by Dan Light who embrace it.

  59. Why do people keep going on about the length of time Manston was actually an airport? So, it’s been an unsuccessful airport for 100 years? My house has been standing here since 1828, almost 200 years. So by the thinking of those who claim the 100 yr old airport should still be an airport, because it “was always there” have got it wrong; a hundred years is nothing. Many houses in lovely historic Ramsgate were built long before the airport, long before cars were even invented, let alone aeroplanes! Longevity is not a reason to keep the airport – had it been successful in the past it would still have been running today at a profit. It’s like saying we should still have horse-drawn buses because we have “always had them”. Makes no sense.
    These old houses can’t be soundproofed due to being listed. I think our pro-airport neighbours in other parts of Thanet should at least be a little sympathetic given that our lives will be blighted and probably ruined.

  60. Hilarious Dan Light using one of his many profiles to big himself up on SMA

    “brilliant news about the airport i am so pleased! i hope the owners reward dan with a job there because if it wasnt for him starting the campaign off we wouldnt be here now celebrating. i known dan for around ten years and hes a good man and will help any one. it is great that a young face has been a part of changing the area for the better. i hope the local tv stations have him in for an interview it is well deserved. three cheers for dan on this along with his team like keith and dot, sorry i dont remember the other names.”

  61. IMHO, the airport will only be really successful if a railway line is added through or to the airport for the movement of the freight
    in and out and also to allow workers and future passengers to use the airport.

  62. IF and it’s a very big IF manston opens the skills needed to run manston will come from other airports. The skilled staff will move into the area. A few thanet people might get a job of litter picking or cleaning the toilets. But dont kid yourself that thanet thats the skills base to run a huge airport.
    The work force will have to move into the area pushing up house prices making it even harder for young locals to get on the housing ladder.

  63. I cannot understand why those who are against the reopening of Manston as an airport have to resort to insults and foul language to try and make a point. It is hurtful to say the least to those like myself who have been insulted. We all have different opinions and are never going to agree about Manston but, please can we be civil with our comments and not insult the other person’s integrity or state of mind.
    Thank you

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