Manston Airport

Enquiry received via email

Manston Airport

01 August 2018
S Alvers


I note from social media postings that an email was yesterday leaked, from Bircham Dyson Bell to PINs regarding RSP's withdrawn DCO application - indicating that they were seeking to optimise the timing of the publication and facts of their withdrawal letter to suit their own PR purposes and were requesting specific guideance from PINS as to when they should send their withdrawal letter to PINS so it did not get publised before their preferrered date - thus avoiding any difficult questions from the public over the bank holiday weekend.
Is it normal that PINS would accomdate such flexibility on behalf of an applicant that is withdrawing and why would you do so in this case? and how does that square with PINS obligations to be transparent on the DCO processs and to keep the public informed. This again goes to previously expressed concerns by other correspondents regarding the time being taken to actually post meeting notes meaning that the public, who are most impacted, are consistently behind the curve and suggests RSP are being granted high levels of flexibility at the cost of public transparency.
Another example was RSP's revised application that appreared out of left field with no prior notice on the PINs website or futher consultation with the public.

Advice given

An email from Bircham Dyson Bell (BDB) to The Planning Inspectorate (the Inspectorate) dated 3 May 2018 was released as part of a Freedom of Information request. No email response was issued from the Inspectorate in respect of that email. BDB then sent the formal ‘withdrawal’ email to the Inspectorate outside of working hours on Friday 4 May 2018. The Inspectorate did not receive or action that email until the next working day which was Tuesday 8 May 2018 due to the Bank Holiday. Normal working practices were followed in this case.