Manston Airport

Enquiry received via email

Manston Airport

20 July 2017
Gillian Archer


I am emailing you, because to my horror, I have just found out that Riveroak stategic partners has and have constructed a consultation document on the reopening of Manston Airport. I have heard it is to be developed as a cargo hub, with many flights, including night time flying very low above our houses. My neighbours and I have experienced this in the past when the noise has been deafening and frightening and there were no night flights then. I know that I and many of my neighbours would like the opportunity to raise objections to the reopening of the airport and because of the noise and pollution over the densely populated area of Herne Bay. So, therefore am requesting that the consultation period be extended.
None of my neighbours or I have been informed by letter, nor leaflets about this, and none of the leaflets during the general election that was put through our letter box's stated anything about reopening Manston. Obviously, if we heard sooner, there would have been a lot more objections from the residents under the flight path in Swalecliffe, Herne Bay, Beltinge, St Nicholas at Wade and Ramsgate. I do feel that more time should be made avilable for Riveroak and the local authority to authorise a postal survey, which is limited to near or under the flight path.
People living in unaffected areas, should not be included. The survey should be accompanied by information from Riveroak which reveals their intensions and need to have 12 or more night flights 7 days a week.

Advice given

The proposed Manston Airport project is currently in the Pre-Application stage of the Planning Act 2008 (PA2008) process. During this stage, the Planning Inspectorate does not have any influence over the non-statutory consultation activities undertaken by the developer.
I note that you copied the developer for the proposed development in to your email. During the Pre-Application stage the developer will be preparing their application documents to be submitted to us. At this stage the application has not been finalised, and as such we advise for any concerns related to the project or any of the developer’s consultation activities to be submitted directly to the developer, in order for your views to inform the application before it is finalised and submitted to us for consideration.
If you are not satisfied that the developer has or will take account of your comments, we would advise you to submit your concerns regarding the developer’s consultation activities to the relevant local planning authority, which in this case is Thanet Borough Council. Once an application has been submitted, the Planning Inspectorate will scrutinise all of the application documents, including the evidence provided in the Consultation Report, applying the statutory tests set out in s55 of the PA2008. By the end of the Acceptance period the Planning Inspectorate (on behalf of the Secretary of State) must decide, in accordance with the tests in s55 of the PA2008, whether or not an application is of a satisfactory standard to be examined.
In reaching the above decision, s55(4) makes explicit that the Planning Inspectorate must have regard to the Consultation Report and any Adequacy of Consultation Representations made by local authority consultees. Adequacy of Consultation Representations are defined by s55(5) of the PA2008 as representations about whether the applicant complied with its duties under sections 42, 47 and 48. They are requested from all relevant local authorities on receipt of an application for development consent. As such, by providing your comments to your local authority they may be considered in the Council’s preparation of its Adequacy of Consultation Representation; if an application is submitted to the Planning Inspectorate.
In respect of night flights, the Planning Inspectorate has access to the same information as the local community and statutory consultees ie the Applicant’s Scoping Report states at paragraph 11.6.10 that “The airport will be operational during the day and may be operational to some extent at night. The noise generated due to this activity may give rise to potentially significant effects”. If night flights are proposed for the airport, the likely significant effects will need to be assessed by the Applicant as part of its Environmental Impact Assessment and presented in the Environmental Statement.
Please note we are in the process of preparing a Frequently Asked Questions document to assist local communities in respect of Pre-application community consultation. It will be published to our website shortly.