Manston Airport

Enquiry received via email

Manston Airport

06 March 2018
No Night Flights - Ros McIntyre


Could you kindly clarify if it is the Planning Inspectorate's considered view that the provisions you mention in the Planning Act 2008 oust the duty placed on you as a public authority by s6 of the Human Right Act 1998?
Government guidance emphasises that all public authorities are at all times bound by s6 of the Human Rights Act 1998, unless some specific provision of primary legislation requires otherwise, or cannot be re-interpreted compatibly with the Convention rights.
It would be a very serious matter if your governing legislation prevented you from acting compatibly with basic human rights.
Our argument in outline is that the act by PINS of accepting RSP's application for examination would impinge upon our property rights under article 1 of Protocol 1 to the Convention, read with Article 8.
We point out that there is no statement of Government policy that identifies Manston as nationally significant in infrastructure terms. We also draw your attention to multiple and authoritative evidence that demonstrates conclusively that an economic case for the DCO cannot be made out. We say that, in these circumstances, there can be no justification for PINS interfering with our property rights by accepting RSP’s application for consideration. We point out that to do so would be to act incompatibly with the Convention rights and thus to act unlawfully under s6 of the Human Rights Act 1998.
We understand the points that you make about the statutory provisions for dealing with some aspects of property blight. However, and as you yourself concede, these provisions are of limited scope and certainly do not constitute an effective remedy for the infringements that would be bound to take place if you proceed to the acceptance stage with this application.
Of course it is open to you to reject our argument, but it would seem totally wrong, and unsafe for you, to refuse to consider it.
So far as we can see, you would be acting in breach of the Human Rights Act if you refused to consider whether you are acting compatibly with the Convention rights before accepting RSP’s application for consideration.

Advice given

The provisions in the Planning Act 2008 (PA2008) do not oust the provisions in Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA1998), and the Planning Inspectorate does not consider that it is in breach of the HRA1998 when taking decisions about whether or not to accept an application for examination. As explained in my previous email, human rights issues will be considered by the appointed Examining Authority at the Examination stage; if the application is accepted.
Regarding government policy, there does not need to be a statement of government policy for a Proposed Development to be a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP). The PA2008 sets out which projects are NSIPs. In respect of the economic case for the Proposed Development, viability is also an issue that can only be considered by the appointed Examining Authority at the Examination stage; if the application is accepted.
We do not consider that the compensation provisions in the PA2008 provide an ineffective remedy where applications are made under the PA2008 for NSIPs.