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Gale's View - 09/05/2018

May 9th 2018

Last Friday RiverOak Strategic Partnership temprarily withdrew its application for a Development Consent Order for Manston Airport. By the time that you read this that fact will be in the public domain and the rumour-mill will, no doubt,be spinning! Time, therefore, to inject a little fact into the inevitable speculation.

The DCO consideration is long and complicated. To subject the application to further delay is tiresome and,for that majority of local people who wish to see planes flying again from Manston it is, to say the least, frustrating.You would think that within the ten and a half thousand pagesof the original submission there would be contained every last detail that could possibly be required. It has become clear through contact between the Company and the Planning Inspectorate, however, that having read the documents - and they clearly have - the Inspectorate takes the view that there are still I`s that need to b e dotted and T`s that need to be crossed. That is not uncommon with something as complicated as a DCO and it is also not uncommon for a DCO application to be temporarily withdrawn for further work.

The DCO is also, unfortunately, a legal process. The Inspectorate is not permitted to discuss the detail of an application while it is `live`. It therefore has to be withdrawn in order to allow the Planners and the Applicant to have detailed conversations about what further information the Inspectorate requires.  In my view that that probably  means a delay of about six weeks before the ball really gets rolling which is tedious but in the great scheme of a major undertaking will be worth the wait.

There remains no doubt in my mind that the re-opening of Manston as a cargo and susequently as a passenger airport is an undertaking bthat lies firmly in a post-Brexit national and local interest. We are desperately short, roight now, of airport capacity asnd that shortsage is costing the United Kingdom business on a daily basis. I have met the investors and I am satisfied that RSP have access to the very many millions of pounds that it will cost to create a state of the art and modern air[port. I also know the painstaking detail that has gone into a highly professional assessment of the employment prospects and the way in which the environmentsl impact of re-opening the airport can be mitigated. I therefore look forward to the day when the real work of re-construction can commence and when, in a couple of years` time, Manston can begin to play its part in helping a post-Brexit Britain again.



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