The enquirer addressed their concerns on the Applicant's 2018 Statutory Consultation and queried the Planning Inspectorate's advice on the provision for night flights in the proposed development.
Firstly, if you wish to make comments about the Applicant’s Pre-application consultation, please do so following the process set out in our Community Consultation FAQ (see in particular the advice at FAQ1): attachment 1
The FAQ document above sets out that the correct, tiered process for commenting on an applicant's Pre-application consultation, if an application is yet to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, is to first contact the Applicant directly with your concerns regarding the consultation. If you do not receive a satisfactory response, you may wish to forward your concerns to the relevant local authority, to take into consideration as part of their 'Adequacy of Consultation Representation' that the Inspectorate will request once an application has been submitted.
I note that you copied in both the Applicant and relevant local authority - Thanet Borough Council (TBC) - when you emailed your concerns to the Planning Inspectorate. Therefore, you may wish to confirm your concerns with TBC if you do not receive a satisfactory response from the Applicant.
Only once have you forwarded your concerns to both the above parties, and still remain unsatisfied, may you contact the Secretary of State, through the Planning Inspectorate. The Planning Inspectorate can consider your concerns regarding Pre-application consultation in addition to the statutory Acceptance tests when making the decision about whether or not to accept the application under section 55 of the Planning Act 2008.
In response to your query regarding the Planning Inspectorate’s advice on provision for night flights, by way of clarification: beyond the acceptance tests applied to a submitted application for airport-related development (as set out in s23 of the Planning Act 2008), the Planning Inspectorate does not dictate the operational characteristics of airport-related applications made to it.
If an airport applicant intends to operate night flights, its Environmental Impact Assessment will need to include an assessment to identify the likely significant effects arising from those night flights, along with a description of the measures envisaged in order to avoid, prevent, reduce or offset them.
If an airport applicant does not intend to operate night flights, or have the option to operate night flights, there will be no need to assess the impact of night flights as part of its Environmental Impact Assessment.