Manston Airport

Enquiry received via email

Manston Airport

28 November 2017
Mark de Pulford


In the name of honesty and of transparency, can PINS please shed some light on the facts behind the applicant’s news release, which appeared in my in box earlier today?
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RSP’s position had been that they have done everything lawfully required of them in relation to the statutory consultation.
My question is a simple one: had they done everything required of them, according to PINS?
I don’t expect to be given commercially sensitive information, but I do not believe it is right to allow the wool to be pulled over the public’s eyes. That’s what has been so objectionable about the earlier consultations by RSP. If PINS, a public, accountable body, has advised the applicant to do another public consultation then I think we should be told plainly that this is the case.
I am sure you will understand the annoyance that three public consultations on the same basic subject will create. Fine, if a third is necessary for statutory reasons. Not fine, if it is – as RSP suggest – an optional matter.
Can we please have some transparency and truth here?
The 2008 planning regime does not appear to envisage three consultation exercises. What is going on?
If we must have a third consultation let’s start things off truthfully and not in a miasma of elision and half-truth.
Could you please include with your reply some information on any public bodies to whom you are accountable for the quality and impartiality of your advice?

Advice given

By way of update, a meeting at which the Planning Inspectorate fed-back to the Applicant on its suite of draft application documents took place on 2 November 2017. A note of that meeting is being finalised and will be published to the project webpage imminently. I will provide a link to you directly as soon as I am able.
Arising from some elements of the advice issued by the Planning Inspectorate on 2 November 2017, a follow-up meeting was requested by the Applicant. This took place on 22 November 2017 by teleconference. A note of that meeting is also being finalised and will be published imminently. I will provide a link to you directly, as above.
I believe that the content of these meeting notes will provide the clarifications sought in your email, however, if having read the notes you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me again directly.
In respect of accountability, the Planning Inspectorate is an executive agency of the Department for Communities and Local Government. Our fundamental values are our commitment to openness, transparency and impartiality in the conduct of our business. We are committed to proactively publishing information which we hold unless to do so would be likely to damage the effective conduct of our statutory functions or the conduct of our business. Under section 51 of the Planning Act 2008 we have powers to issue advice about applying for an order granting development consent or making representations about an application (or proposed application). A record of all of the advice we provide is published on our website. Importantly, none of the advice that we issue under s51 of the PA2008 constitutes legal advice upon which applicants (or others) should rely.

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