Several people have expressed concerns that, should they register as interested parties for the Manston Airport DCO, their names and possibly addresses will be made public on the Planning Inspectorate website. This concern arises because the individuals are worried that they will receive abuse on social media from people who support the reopening of the airport, something which has been prevalent from certain groups/individuals since the closure of the airport.
Can the Planning Inspectorate please advise whether the personal details of interested parties will be kept confidential if they choose to register.
The Planning Inspectorate is required to make Relevant Representations available for public inspection as soon as practicably possible after the close of the registration period. This includes publishing the Interested Party’s name alongside their representation; however, all other information provided on the Relevant Representation form will remain confidential.
The Inspectorate’s Advice Note 8.2: How to register to participate in an Examination: attachment 1 advises groups of people who share similar views to submit combined representations/ communications to assist the process. Those persons you refer to in your email may be comforted to know that only the organisation name, and not the persons represented, will appear on the website if they participate in a group representation. Persons names provided in the representation itself can be redacted on request.
We offer this advice based on the principle that it is the relevance and importance of the issues raised that will attract weight in an Examining Authority's deliberations at the Examination stage, not the quantity of responses. Therefore persons shall not be prejudice by not submitting individual representations. The Inspectorate recommends that one person from the group is elected to speak if the group wishes to attend and give oral representations at public hearings once the Examination stage formally commences.