Government grants Development Consent Order for Manston Airport

Manston airport Photo Frank Leppard

A Development Consent Order for an air freight hub at the Manston airport site has been redetermined and granted by government, again, today (August 18).

A Development Consent Order granting approval for the air freight hub was initially granted in July 2020 but  quashed in February 2021 following a Judicial Review challenge by Ramsgate resident Jenny Dawes.

A new decision then had to be issued after a re-examination of the Planning Inspectorate evidence.

The DCO 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 Examining panel and by eight issue-specific hearings, two compulsory acquisition hearings and four open floor hearings held in Margate and Sandwich.

The panel also conducted one unaccompanied site inspection in January 2019 and one accompanied site inspection in March 2019.

The examining panel recommendation was for refusal. This was overturned by the Secretary of State when granting the original DCO.

Now fresh approval has been issued by Transport Minister, Karl McCartney MP, and the DCO will come into force from September 8.

Manston airport site Photo Paul Wells

The order, published today, says: “The application was examined by a Panel of four members. The Panel, having examined the application with the documents that accompanied the application, and the representations made and not withdrawn, has, in accordance with section 74(2) of the 2008 Act, made a report and recommendation to the Secretary of State.

“The Secretary of State, having considered the representations made and not withdrawn, and the report of the Panel, has decided to make an Order granting development consent for the development described in the application with modifications which in the opinion of the Secretary of State, do not make any substantial changes to the proposals comprised in the application.”

The site is in ownership of RSP after a £16million buy out from previous owners Stone Hill Park who had hoped to gain permission for a multi-use housing, business and leisure development.

RSP aims to create aviation at the site with a cargo hub and associated business. 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.

Tony Freudmann of RSP

RSP director Tony Freudmann said: “Today is a day to celebrate the culmination of years of campaigning. I would like to pay tribute to the extraordinary army of Manston Airport supporters who have never given up hope of seeing new life breathed into this historic aviation asset.

“And I would also like to thank our two dedicated local MPs, Sir Roger Gale and Craig Mackinlay, as well as the thousands of supporters who have supported us from the start of the DCO process and have long shared our bold and ambitious vision for the airport.”

Surveys, detailed master planning and design work will begin in the next few weeks. Construction will start later next year, with RSP saying the airport will operate its first cargo services in early 2025.

RSP says Manston will be built to be Carbon Net Zero from scratch and will provide much needed economic and employment stimulus to the area.

Alongside the work needed to return Manston to operational status, RSP says it will now accelerate its local procurement programme and partnership work with a range of business, education, training and local authority organisations.

Find the decision letter here

Reaction

Save Manston Airport association

“The SMAa committee is proud to announce that after 4 years of hard work and dedication from all its members, and especially RSP, the Development Consent Order (DCO) has finally 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 passenger terminal, as well as 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 sometime in 2025. 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 8 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.”

No Night Flights

“It is incredible that time and time again independent expert advice is ignored over the feasibility of Manston as a cargo hub. We are disappointed in the news and await to see what happens next for our beautiful, historic seaside town.”

Thanet Labour Party

Thanet council Labour leader Cllr Rick Everitt said: “It is disappointing that once again the Conservative government has decided it knows better than the independent examiners. We will take the time to digest the latest decision but we anticipate it will be challenged legally.

“The Labour group at TDC stands with residents of Ramsgate and elsewhere who fear the consequences for their town and their quality of life. We remain unconvinced that the claimed benefits for local people are real or significant. This decision is a slap in the face for all of us who are concerned about the climate emergency and exposes the hypocrisy of the Conservatives on that vital issue.”

Craig Mackinlay, South Thanet MP (Con)

“It’s fantastic news that – finally – the redetermined DCO for Manston has been granted.

“I’ve been saying for as long as anyone will listen that Thanet with Manston for aviation is a wholly different Thanet from one without. This positive DCO for Manston is a gamechanger and the turn-key to prosperity in East Kent.

“We perpetually have unemployment rates and average salaries behind South East norms. But airports bring huge investment and Manston is expected to receive hundreds of millions of pounds. This means new industries and a huge number of jobs in a relatively short period of time.

“My thanks to RiverOak for their investment and patience after eight years of false starts, set-backs and frustration.

“Manston can fly!”

Sir Roger Gale, North Thanet MP (Con)

“The DCO has been granted for Manston This is the good news that we have been awaiting for so long.

“There will no doubt be additional hurdles to tackle but I look forward to seeing wheels on tarmac at Manston again and all of the job creation and economic benefits that a revitalised freight and passenger airport will bring to East Kent and to the whole of the UK.

“Huge thanks to all of those who have kept the faith.”

County Councillor Karen Constantine (Lab)

“I’m all in favour of a plan for industry that will actually bring quality, sustainable jobs to our area. Thanet is marred by a poor labour market – the worst in the South East. Too many people who work are in jobs that don’t pay enough to live on, and don’t offer decent prospects. No wonder our poverty rates are shockingly high. Good work – with decent wage rates – is the only way to level up our communities.

“Both our local MPs, Conservatives Sir Roger Gale and Craig Mackinlay have abjectly failed to secure any large scale and decent inward investment or economic regeneration in Thanet. Both blithely citing an air cargo hub at Manston as the (only) route forward, and little do they care for how that will blight lives and health.

“Manston Air Cargo hub has yet to clear major obstacles in its way. Firstly – and I’ve visited the site for myself – there’s no infrastructure remaining in place. Who, how and when will that be found? What business efficacy is there in the plan for an Air Cargo hub? Where are the customers? The cost of U.K. products is going through the roof, with rampant inflation and a possible (likely) recession looming. Who are we shipping too? Where is the actual demand for Air Cargo imports and why would any business bear the increased costs of shipping into Manston? Compared to those places with existing provision.

“Will Manston get permission from the CAA? What about the pollution and climate emergency? We should be focused on minimising our carbon emissions not increasing them. This proposal with sink both TDC and KCC’s carbon reduction targets. They will remain pipe dreams.

“The bald truth is, Grant Shapps the Secretary of State for Transport has made a wholly political decision. It smacks of ‘Dead Cat’, don’t look at the state of the county. It smacks political chicanery. It’s a promise, again, of ‘Jam Tomorrow’ – whilst doing nothing to tackle the urgent economic issues, appalling labour market, the crisis in the NHS, and the crippling housing issues.”

Thanet Conservative Group

Thanet Conservative group leader Cllr Ash Ashbee said: “I am delighted that the Secretary of State for Transport has granted the DCO for Manston Airport.

“As Leader of the Conservative Group, I am proud of the fact that we have always supported the re-opening of Manston Airport, I am also proud as the Leader of Thanet District Council that private investors have the confidence and belief to invest major sums in our district.

“The Government has already shown this in Thanet by awarding two levelling up funds to both Margate and Ramsgate, along with the Margate Town Deal, giving us an economic foundation.

“Now, in addition, RiverOak Strategic Partners inward investment demonstrates this with the next vital step on the path to building a sound future of economic prosperity for Thanet.

“Manston Airport provides a much-needed opportunity to foster economic growth not just for Thanet but the wider East Kent area, complementing our growing tourism sector.

“It will create jobs for local people and through the Manston Skills and Education Board, of which my administration takes a keen interest in, local people will have access to training and re-skilling giving them wider opportunities of employment.

“We, the Conservative Group have always been the party that listened to the people of Thanet, many of whom wanted the return of Manston Airport and have done everything we could to support this happening.”

Thanet Green Party

“Thanet Green Party is deeply saddened by the Government’s inexplicable decision to grant a Development Consent Order for a cargo hub at Manston. This decision runs against the advice of the Government’s Planning Inspectorate after a rigorous examination of the proposals, and contrary to 15 of 16 recent independent expert reports which highlight that these plans are not viable.

“The airport has never employed more people than our local Wetherspoons and is unlikely to do so in future. This is a project based on an odd mix of last-century technology whose time has long gone, and aspirational future technology that will not exist in reliable form for some years yet. The fact that the Secretary of State has approved this in the teeth of an evident climate crisis, and at a time when simply affording to pay our energy bills through the winter is the major concern of most Thanet residents, shows how little regard the Government has for the experience of ordinary people.

“The saddest irony is that we have huge potential for the clean, green, 21st century jobs with training and prospects this disadvantaged area needs via our two windfarms – so we really don’t need the paltry numbers of jobs this will bring, if it happens at all.

“Sadly, we now appear to have little choice but to wait for the project to fail, as so many iterations of the airport have done in the past – but we deplore the waste of money and time, and the false promises of jobs and prosperity given to local people, meanwhile.”

Save Manston Airport founder Dan Light

“We are delighted to hear that the DCO is granted for Manston Airport and would like thank RSP for their continued hard work, also the planning inspectorate for seeing and understanding what a vital role this will play in the upturn of industry and jobs in Thanet. We also want to thank everyone across all groups for all the hard work put in.”

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.
October 2020: A Judicial Review bid of the DCO decision launched by resident Jenny Dawes is granted
Photo Frank Leppard

December 2020: Manston airport site is used as a Brexit lorry park

February 2021: The DCO is quashed and the redetermination process begins

April 2021: An air space change application fails to gain approval at the first ‘gateway assessment’. The Civil Aviation Authority flight path process has to be completed for a permanent change to airspace usage, such as a change of routes,

June 2021: The contract to use part of the Manston site as a lorry park comes to an end

August 2021: An air space change application being undertaken by Manston airport site owners RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) fails to gain approval for the ‘gateway assessment’ stage.

October 2021: An independent assessor’s report commissioned by the Secretary of State concludes the case of need for a freight hub at the Manston airport site is not proven.

The draft report, drawn up by Ove Arup & Partners Ltd, was commissioned as part of the process of re-determination after approval for the airport project was given but then quashed by a High Court order.

August 2022: Transport minister Karl McCartney MP grants the DCO once more.

188 Comments

  1. Means nothing, it is all about removing an local control over what happens on the site, why would people be excited about that ?

    • This is a corrupt decision, and will devalue every property, and business in Ramsgate, and cause multiple air and noise pollution, so good by Ramsgate! Aircraft flying in at under 300 meters high over the Harbour, up the High Street at 250 meters, over Ellington Park at 200 meters, and less that 150 meters high over Nethercourt! Well everyone in the CT11 postal code, what are you going to do about it? I suggest that as a General Election is due, you make your protest and stop voting Tory, because Mackinlay and Gale are stoking the destruction of Thanet for their own ends!

  2. facepalm. more pollution. loss of tourism. loss of jobs. more poverty. all so a few people can get rich. adios ramsgate.

    • Totally agree. Everybody seems to think this will open up as a passenger airport again.
      How many times must an airport fail to realise it will never work mainly because of its location ie surrounded on three sides by sea. Few local punters-those in Medway towns go to Gatwick-and how many tourists will you get from abroad who want to come to Thanet?
      The number of local jobs for a cargo hub will be minimal. When the airport was last open the number of jobs was around a 100.
      All the top aviation jobs will go to outsiders.

  3. Great news for thanet.we have waited years for this so our grandchildren can look forward to good jobs without having to travel outside thanet.

    • What a great life, then! Born in Thanet, study in Thanet, work in Thanet, home in Thanet, never leave Thanet, and surrounded by people who were born in Thanet, studied in Thanet, worked in Thanet, had a home in Thanet, and never left Thanet. No wonder UKIP and the Front had a field day here…

        • How?
          The DCO is in respect of a cargo hub.
          And in the past, when it focussed on PAX, it failed catastrophically.

        • No way! Why would they leave Thanet! What kind of utter rubbish, there is nothing outside Thanet!

          But also, how would they leave Thanet once there is an airport? Are they going to travel in the crates, in the bellyhold?

        • Ah, Pete, gotcha! You said you were young, and now you go on about paper books!

          You cheeky so and so, dont pretend that when you say you are a full time author you are talking about books – your blog (a tenner is called ‘Checksfield’s Captain Log’) got 12 views last year, 9 of them from yourself checking the CSS and the other 3 from your date back in November.

          Anyway, maybe Amazon (another well known tax friendly corporation) will end up using Manston for their deliveries, so they may give those employed there 1-month of Kindle Unlimited -this could be your big break!

  4. Let all the anti’s pack up and move away with their sad faces, and let’s all move on to a prosperous future

  5. Great no house’s on site,where would the water come from ,for these boxes as southern water cannot supply enough now,rather it was made a mini forest for all to enjoy

  6. Thank goodness. About time too. Now our youngsters will have more employment opportunities. Thank you too, to the sensible people fighting for Thanet’s future. You have worked so hard to make our airport dreams come true.

  7. Fantastic news and great for Thanet to finally have something that can provide jobs and bring something to the table that has been seriously lacking in this area for a long time. We cannot survive on just cafe culture alone so this is great news for our area with this upturn in fortunes. Well done to RSP and all save manston groups.

  8. OK so we can now have the judicial review that the DfT avoided last time. This will show the decision to be politically motivated and not based on evidence.

  9. Fantastic news. I am too old to benefit from it but the future of Thanet is important for my children. Thanks to Roger and Craig for working so very hard on behalf of the people of Thanet.

  10. Maybe a fund should be started up to help the anti airport people , move away ,thereby freeing up housing for others ,so new houses do not have to be built,also the anti people which airport do you use ,when you fly to your foreign holiday family reunion etc,you don’t mind it in someone area ,that’s ok,and as others have said WHAT jobs

    • How do you fly to a foreign holiday from a cargo airport in a cargo plane? Are you a lettuce? Actually…

      • If you read the quote ,I said from which airport ,maybe you should go back to school to learn how to read

        • And if you ask someone to read my question to you and make sure you understand it (it may take some time, mind you, so have the commode close by), you’ll see how I was asking you about flying to a foreign holiday from a cargo airport.

          I understand that it is a tough question, but I am also aware that some of you were around when the old airport was still around so you may have been exposed to fumes and particles.

    • I’m anti-airport and have not flown anywhere for over 40 years. I think flights should be very much reduced.

  11. Hope that the Government and Thanet Council will demand immediately an independent study on the environmental consequences of such a project, as it is very likely to results in noise and other environmental pollution. It will definitely not benefit the people living nearby. I also hope that there will be restrictions, such as no access to freight planes during the night, etc.

  12. I bet Freadmann wasnt expecting that lol

    Now he has to convince people to give him 300k minimum, with his record of looking after other people’s money.

    It’s still a non goer.

      • The homes (and cars) will be located elsewhere in Thanet.
        It has *always* been the case that we get airport, or airport and housing.
        Now we’ve got the latter.

        • Not sure your grandchildren represent everybody’s (it would be worrying if they did, dont you think so Whyso? but kind of big difference between self-imposed pollution and offshore-based-company-imposed pollution. Seems a weird argument, anyway. If we were to do that with all you who love fumes, our local hospital would be much less busy. Do try better, I know it is difficult to be aspirational at your age but do not go gently into the night.

  13. More than a dozen international aviation experts have said that commercial aviation at Manston won’t work.
    For some reason, Grant Shapps thinks differently.
    Given the current aviation climate, I would be astonished if a plane landed or took off from Manston.
    Jobs? What jobs? Wetherspoons employees more than Manston ever did.
    Houses? Instead of being built at Manston, they’re being built on Greenfield instead.
    Electric barges? Hydrogen cells?? Golden Unicorns???

  14. Fantastic news thank you to the MPs and transport secretary for this very sensible and correct decision. As a Ramsgate taxpayer I DO NOT GIVE MY PERMISSION TO RAMSGATE TOWN COUNCIL TO USE MY TAX MONEY TO DONATE TO THEIR FRIENDS TO USE IN ANY FORM WHATSOEVER OF PROTEST. Like they did last time.

  15. Come on you supporters of Tony Freudmann have you googled his work history or is Google wrong and I have the wrong bloke ?

  16. The last time a decision was made to open a civilian airport at Manston it consigned Thanet to 20 years of blight and failure. This decision simply repeats the mistake. Those of you still alive in 20 years time will look back and regret 40 wasted years when almost any other use of the site would have created many thousands of jobs.

  17. At last some hope for a chance of a substantial amount of jobs both on the cargo hub but more so with the warehouse and distribution industry the airport hub would need to operate. Contrary to the old hat rubbish on old cargo planes modern aircraft halve to be quieter and greener to make them viable to operate. All the negative concerns are mostly from information 20 years ago and are completely outdated, let’s move thanet forward into the 21st century.

  18. About time the shower of s### Government done something positive for Thanet. Next some pea brain will consider doing something good with the port of Ramsgate.
    Regardless of cost, the positives will reduce local unemployment dependency upon benefit handouts and important boost local economy.
    End of the summer they may even consider boosting tourism.
    You may think I’m just a moaning old so and so. But actually i work for the local government too

  19. Some people not very happy at the good news on the Manston DCO being granted..
    Citing some spurious rubbish…..
    I suggest that you read the full report….I dare say that those against will make another attempt at a Judicial Review….Well they will be wasting their time and money…
    This time there are no loopholes nor weaknesses that can be exploited. So any Judge looking at an application will reject any such application, and rightly so.
    It will be a couple of years before the Airport is operational, as a lot of work is required…But what will be the end result will be absolutely brilliant for Thanet, the most modern and innovative airport in Europe, green from the ground up. Jobs created, apprentices trained ….Everything that has been promised will be delivered..
    Absolutely brilliant news.

  20. Fantastic news! Finally all those unemployed grandchildren (funny enough, not one message from one of those unemployed ‘youth’ here, just from old foggies…) can wait 15 years for their zero-hours contract in a noisy and polluted environment, much better than the ‘cafe culture’ that the fumes foggies can’t bear.

    Congratulations to Thanet MPs as well, one of them can now retire and spend his days visiting his grandchild (yes, the same grandchild he wanted to protect from the aviation fumes coming from Heathrow expansion…), and the other can resuscitate his MAMA Airlines dormant company (yes, the company he forgot to declare time and time again, as having an airline based in Ramsgate, and supporting a cargo airport, in Ramsgate as well, is just one of those things).

    Well done, Grant Shapps, you can keep your job with Lizzie!

  21. I don’t live in Thanet, but do think this is a very good decision and one that will bring all sorts of benefits to the local economy.
    Well done to all those who worked so hard over a very long time to finally get there.
    It can’t surely upset too many people as I am sure they will make sure the flightpath will be mostly over the sea.

  22. I just wish those on here who talk utter rubbish about Manston Airport realise the airport has been an airport for over 80 years it played an important part in the war and local economy, the reason it was asset stripped run onto the ground and closed was for no other reason than greed and corporate vandalism. We have always lived under the flight path and raised our family and the airport has never done us or east kent any harm and never will. One only has to watch the news to know how overwhelmed Gatwick and Heathrow airport’s are the reopening of Manston Airport will be a god send.

    • commercial aviation started in 1959 but not classed as an airpit until 1998
      try doing some research old boy

    • ‘Greed’ and ‘corporate vandalism’, William says. Because as we all know, RSP are a social enterprise with the welfare of the community at heart. They just happen to be offshore-based, and would never ever (ever!) make any profit at all.

      And the fact that you think an airport does no harm to those around is a clear signal that you inhaled too many fumes. Do visit a skull doctor.

    • When RSP and Sir RibverOak asked the government to approve the flying of humanitarian flights to Ukraine, the response was “there’s plenty of spare capacity at existing airports”.
      So, what’s changed?

  23. What pollution ,if a few years time by the time the airport opens ,most planes will be flying with electric motors ,they are testing them even now,jet fuel will be long gone like the antis,electric and hydrogen fuel is the way forward,

  24. There is no way that the Pentagon will ever permit one it’s emergency runways in Europe to be destroyed. It’s never going to happen. The Labour group needs to take off the blinkers and don it’s pebble spectacles. We are all part of something bigger.
    How many of those who object to flights to and from Manston patronise Heathrow & Gatwick? Hypocrites!

    • harry the pentagon didn’t exist in 1945
      never been classified as an emergency runway by the americans
      they left in 1958

      • I have to say, I am an American F-35 pilot and cannot wait for the US to place our rapid response tactical squadron at Manston. This is all part of the special relation we have with you guys in Kent. I should not say this but there are also talks to use Manston for TopGun 3, which would be awesome.

        And the guys have also said that SpaceX, the Tesla guy space company, will use Manston.

          • Sir, what made you think I was not serious, in the name of Sweet Lord Je$u$? Tesla is coming, Pete Maverick is coming, and Virgin Space is coming.

            [I should note, the last post I sent did not come. I hope this web is as freedomloving as the US and Elizabeth Truss)

        • Yes sir. It will create millions of jobs and level Thanet up. Movies will be made. It will put Thanet on the map.

          It is the best news ever!

          We should put it all the side of a red bus coz that will 100% make it true.

          It’s not the same idiots falling for the same people telling more lies at all.

  25. Please answer me….

    Why do people believe a venture led by a struck off solicitor, who has failed at every airport he has touched, will be successful now?

    Why are people excited that the Planning Inspectorate has okayed this, the same Planning Inspectorate that has overturned various TDC rejections for housing on farmland, you trust them on this issue ?

    • EgonSpengler

      Spot on

      I wouldnt trust him with 5p let alone millions. It’s very odd with his career history as a solicitor that he could be involved in others people money.

    • Nah, Johnno, if you did not move when the airport closed why should we move when it is announced it will open? Also, can I ask you why ‘Snowflakes’ is capitalised? Are you OK?

  26. What a wonderful picture of the “RTC meeting at the Oddfellows”, all those unemployed youths attentively listening to RSP explaining the plans for thousand of well-paid and formative jobs! They are stunned by the quality of the presentation! Dazzled by the prospect of career progression!

    THANK YOU RSP! THANK YOU GRANT SHAPPS! THANK YOU CRAIG MAMAKINLAY! THANK YOU ROGER!

      • Um, didn’t realise you speak now in the third person. Must be that full time author job you have. I also know that your health issue is different. It is quite obvious.

          • HAHAHAHAAHHA and full time authors to write the timetables. Pete, dont leave the day(dream) job. Actually, thousands of jobs coming to Ramsgate in 2025, so if you (or I should say ‘they’…? maybe too woke) ever get that pesky writer’s block again, you can always dabble in the pallet handling.

          • Well, your low productivity must be the result of something else then. Have you had your levels of thickness in blood checked? It could be a very subtle case of Manston Syndrome. We have seen a few of those.

            Now that Ramsgate is such an artists’ hub, you must be so happy, by the way! Bet you do not leave Addington Street!

          • Apart from the fact that I’m well known locally thanks to numerous radio and newspaper appearances (including several times in the one you’re reading now), and your seeming inability to use google… you do realise that you can simply click on my name, don’t you?

            We’re still all waiting for you to tell us all about your own career, but as you clearly don’t realise that people still read books, I’m guessing that you don’t work in Waterstones or a library.

          • Peter Checksfield, never heard of you. You are obviously delusional and narcissistic to an astonishing degree.
            I know a few “authors” and they use the title as a euphemism for being idle and without work. “In between jobs”, does that ring a bell?

          • Believe whatever you like… all I know is that I didn’t give up “real” jobs (including labouring, sweeping, washing-up and cleaning toilets) until I started making a half-decent living from my work.

          • “Well known locally”? You are not one of those blokes who thinks that just because you sit down in the same bench every midmorning feeding the pigeons you are someone important, are you? Or you dont think that because you got air on a regional website your next gig is going to be on Question Time, do you?

            Why would I want to google a random name of someone saying they are a “full time author”? If I need to google your name then that tells me everything I need to know about your success….🤦🏻‍♂️

            Waterstones? In Ramsgate????? Oh dear, you only had one job to mention one of the many bookshops around, but you had to go with Waterstones…Alrighty, Peter [checks notes] Checksfield, “full time author” and ex-DFL.

  27. I’m not a local but I do live in Kent. It’s fantastic news and will
    Provide more jobs in the area directly and indirectly. It’s a missive investment… it’s a good news day !!

  28. Up until the late 1990s, it was RAF Manston. Perhaps bringing back that kind of status to Manston will we appreciate its vast potential for future aviation.
    Experts claiming this could not work are whistling in the wind.
    We have the longest runway in England, for heaven sake. We should take full advantage of that fact. Good management with vision and intelligence can make it work.
    Let’s not make it a party political argument. Labour is being dogmatic on this issue and uses it as an election platform. Their opposition to an airport is nothing more than unbending pig-headedness. Reason does not feature with them.

    • Manston doesnt have the longest runway any more but it doesnt have room to meet modern run off areas at the end of the runway !

    • Thanks for your suggestion, R.Lucky, but I’m afraid you make little sense, and I encourage you to catch up with your speech and language therapist. I do know that being exposed to aviation particles can lead to cardiovascular events, so I dont blame you for any issues you may have.

      More importantly, if your argument to support the airport is that it was here before anyone, I assume that you would also want to ensure that we dont get rid of rabies, smallpox, or the Black Death. They have been around longer than us. Think about it. But please, keep your rehabilitation going. You will be able to get dress unaided soon.

  29. We are a proud seafaring nation. We have a sea port on our doorstep and mainland Europe is only 30 miles away. So why on earth would we ever want to depend on air traffic for our cargo? Are we gluttons for stress and noise pollution?

  30. It will never actually happen. Granting the DCO is politically motivated and goes against all the evidence. Every independent report and the Government’s own planning inspectorate have all said a cargo airport at Manston is not needed and will not be commercially viable. If it ever opens it will fail financially and with Tony Freudmann involved that is almost guaranteed

  31. As a fully employed not old aged or drug reliant resident of Ramsgate who has lived all over the country but have ties in this area back to the 1500s. I would like to thank all of you bickering twats of which I’m sure plenty of you have been imported from outside the area for entertaining me with your comments. Also DFL lives matter DFL lives matter no more than anyone else’s and if you think they do then you really are an entitled idiot.

    • Hi Bacon, thanks for the post. Typically, when someone starts their introduction with the things ‘they say they are not’, it is pretty obvious what is going on. I do wonder do in how many places they called you a Thanet tw@t. Anyway, some lives matter more than others. RSP and Grant Shapps just proved that. Think about it, Bacon.

  32. A bit like Brexit, a decision that makes no sense.

    Bit like Brexit I’ll wait, hopeful that there might be some benefits. I look forward to the 1000s of jobs this creates for local people.

    I have a fear I’ll die waiting.

    Stupid is as stupid does. McKinlay is involved this is obviously stupid.

    • God forbid that Mr McKinley ever gets involved. Manston Airport does not fall within his area as a MP it falls totally under Sir Roger Gales who has fought tooth and nail for the reopening of the Airport. Perhaps now the idiots whom have purchased the land (Redrow) and intend to build all round the landing lights and the developer who wishes to build on the former Jacki Pallow’s home site will receive a wake up call.

  33. It is worth noting that RSP acquired Manston airport over two years ago yet they have determinedly pursued the costly DCO process. RSP are set on ensuring there is no involvement by the local council just as there is for every other airport in the UK. Maybe just ask yourselves why RSP would want to by-pass local democracy and accountability?

    • Self evident. TDC is a shambles and will remain so until we get a council and councillors that are willing to work together for the betterment of the area and residents.

  34. Is it true they want the planes to take off in the other direction over Birchington?!! as a Ramsgate resident I am more than happy with this. Well done Birchington residents, you can reek the rewards of the new dirty freight cargo hub..

    • Well, if by “live in the area” you mean “has got a dormant company called MAMA Airlines which aims to fly from Manston to Malaga” then yes, Craig MP does live in the area.

  35. 🤦‍♂️ Can’t believe This stupid idea is still being pushed and celebrated. As a snake oil salesman, myself, I have a lot of admiration for Tony Freudman.

  36. I have to say that I am Ramsgate-born and have lived most of my life under flight paths. I was always fascinated by aircraft and love the idea we have an airfield. It is part of our heritage.
    Now, I would say to the DFLs who whine and whinge, clear off back to Cockneyland and complain about Heathrow and Gatwick. Leave Manston alone.

    • Bob- leprosy and slavery are also part of your heritage. Why are you not asking for them to return? Just because something bad has been around for long it does not mean we should not want to get rid of it. Maybe living under flight paths most of your life did do something to your brain, Bob.

  37. Now that the DCO has been approved RSP can reveal who are the actual investors who will put £500M into the venture. Remember RSP have always been clear that it is not them who will provide the main finance.

  38. Wonderful news. Sad that a minority of anti-airport residents who out-shout the majority who want the airport are still griping and moaning.
    For the rest of us half-full folks this good news. I predict 500 jobs in ten years. 500 families not having to go to food banks 500 well-off families who are no longer voter fodder for the small-minded Labour Party.

  39. Lived most your live under flight paths- you respiratory system must be overjoyed with this recent development.

    I moved to Ramsgate after the airport had closed.. and did not ever imagine it would operate again.

    Anyone living here just has much right to moan about/ celebrate/ discuss this situation. Having lived somewhere most your life does not make you an authority on the subject or area.

    In fact anyone who has never lived elsewhere is encouraged to try it at some point. Broaden their horizons.

    Finally, no offense intended. The thought of Manston reopening just seems ludicrous and boils my blood.

    Personally I would be a lot happier not living under a flight path for cargo planes. Weird.

    • My advice is, if you don’t like living near an airport then try living elsewhere.
      If you made the move to Ramsgate then you will be familiar with removal vans.
      Off you pop.

      • My advice to you, Bob Edwards, is- if you dont like living with people who dont live in a van like you, then pop off.

        • I did not say I don’t like living with people who don’t live in a van.
          I merely made a few suggestions for those who came down here from Cockneyland and want to tell us what is good for us.
          Something about teaching grannie how to suck eggs.

          • its OK to backpedal, Bob, I thought that as you were giving free advice you may want free advice as well. You lot clearly not quite on the ball about what is good for you lot, or at the very least, you seem confused (perhaps those airplane fumes did do something nasty…?).

            You keep voting for the people who do very little for the area. You keep the area in a right state, then complaint when people try to do it up. You complaint there is no work, but there are more than 1 million vacancies in the country. And you push for passenger flights (so I assume that means to go as a tourists somewhere) yet you diss tourists. You dont want tourism related jobs ‘because the winter’ (hello climate crisis!), but prefer zero-hours minimum wage ones…

          • London is not the only place outside of Thanet, there are other places. I moved from one of them.

            As you love airports so much…. Did you choose to live somewhere else whilst the airport was non-operational?

            I’d be confident it isn’t just DFLS who don’t want an airport. Lots of locals I know would rather not.

          • Anybody with a bit of general knowledge about the damage aviation causes can see that a cargo airport near a town is not a thing to be welcomed.

  40. One of the first things I experienced when looking for a property in Ramsgate back in the 1980’s was a Hercules coming in to land.
    I remember the noise created by hovercraft at Pegwell.
    The Royal Harbour/Cinque Port is a 24-hour cauldron of sound.
    Ramsgate’s raison d’etre is international trade and Defence.
    If you want a quite life with no pollution I’ve heard that Antarctica and the Moon are good.
    Housing, people and their cars cause more noise and pollution than anything else. Look at all the human effluent that has been released along the south coast of England this week.
    I’d rather have an airport with a bit of space and a view on my doorstop than yet another estate of boxes made of tricky tacky. Along with all the consequent traffic caused by their owners’need to travel somewhere else daily to pay for said boxes, because there is not enough employment/natural resources here to organically grow our existing communities. No housebuilder who does not live in Thanet should be allowed to build in Thanet. It’s a principle that should be enshrined in love cal planning bylaws!

  41. And not one single message of support on Twitter, Isle of Thanet, Kent OnLine, the ‘consultations’ from any of those famous unemployed youth that seem to so desperately need to be employed at the cargo airport. Not one piece of evidence that any of them do aspire to work in the warehouses proposed. Not a single testimony that a career dismantling old banger planes is what they are looking for.

    Yes all the nostalgic (and most likely, retired) foggies keep rambling about ‘unemployment’, ‘youth’, and ‘jobs’. But not one of them has said ‘My son or my daughter will work at the cargo airport’…OK Boomers.

  42. Harry Webb has given us a reasoned and honest appraisal of Thanet’s real issues regarding noise and pollution. It is not an operational airport that threatens civilisation as we know it in this corner of Kent. It is all the peripheral activity in our daily lives. Well put, Harry.

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