Thursday, 12 March 2009

AIRPORT RECOMMENDATIONS PUT FORWARD

Thanet district Council press release

A series of recommendations on the draft Masterplan for Kent International Airport have been put forward by the council’s Manston Airport Working Party.

The group, part of the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Panel, has been looking at the airport and its draft Masterplan, put forward by the airport owners Infratil in October 2008. Last night (Tuesday 10 March), they reported back to the panel, recommending that Members agree, in principle, to the aspirations of the draft Masterplan.

The Working Party’s report, which runs to more than 30 pages, sets out the site’s planning history, details of the Section 106 Agreement, planning policies and a summary of the draft Masterplan, before then going on to make a number of recommendations.

These include:
Requesting that the airport publish the results of its consultation and proposed amendments for further comments, before finalising the Masterplan. It also requests that consultation should be undertaken with statutory planning consultees.
Explaining how the Masterplan meets the requirements of the Section 106 Agreement.
Suggesting a series of amendments should be made, including more specific measurable targets on issues such as carbon neutrality, emission control and sustainability.
Including more specific proposals, explaining how development at the airport will be phased, what additional infrastructure improvements will be required until 2018 and details of approximate costs for these.
Putting forward more specific proposals, with timescales, for the implementation of environmental studies to assess the impact of the phased growth.

Cllr. Bob Bayford, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel, said: “The Working Party has done some stirling work over the last few months, culminating in the production of this exceptionally thorough report. Their research has given us a great deal of useful information, which the council will be able to use as the development of the airport Masterplan continues.”

Cllr. Mike Harrison, Chairman of the Airport Working Party, said: “The draft Masterplan is worthy of our general support, but subject to the recommendations we are putting forward in this report. We are very keen to see the results of Infratil’s consultation and, of course, their final Masterplan will need to go back out to consultation again. I think it’s fair to say that there are some people in the community who believe that this is the final document. It isn’t. It’s the starting point, but it’s very much an aspirational document and we want to see more specifics included in the final version.”

The report will now go before Cabinet and a meeting of Full Council.

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