Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Minor Manston Airport RiverOak CPO update and Ramsgate Asylum Harbour.

Considerable sums and resources have gone into ideas for improved transport facilities in the Ramsgate area over the years, this one from 1842 is an example.


It’s a big sheet to photograph with a mobile phone, so a few detail shots that may expand if clicked on.




You may remember my posts about emails to RiverOak and the DFT



Reply from George Yerrall

From: George Yerrall <g.yerrall@riveroakic.com>
To: michaelchild <
michaelchild@aol.com>
CC: consultationresponses <
consultationresponses@riveroakinvestments.co.uk>; Susannah.guest <Susannah.guest@pins.gsi.gov.uk>; Niall Lawlor <n.lawlor@riveroakic.com>; Tony Freudmann <t.freudmann@riveroakic.com>
Sent: Tue, 23 Aug 2016 15:16
Subject: RE: Manston DCO



Dear Michael,

Thank you for your patience in awaiting my response.  I was away on vacation with my family and I try to “unplug” when I am away.

Your list of questions is hard for me to process as it contains numerous requests to respond to something said to you by a “RiverOak rep” as well as a number of assumptions you have made that seem factually difficult to understand such as your assumption that the airport would be “classified brownfield and that the cpo land compensation will be based on an open market valuation for brownfield land in southeast England., plus blight compensation.”

However, as you know, the PINS consultation process is very transparent and all of your issues will be addressed and published in due time.  I understand that waiting for answers can be frustrating and that is not my intent.

Thank you again for your patience and I look forward to addressing all of your concerns in the near future.

Best regards,

George


My reply to George


-----Original Message-----
From: michaelchild
To: g.yerrall
CC: consultationresponses ; Susannah.guest ; n.lawlor ; t.freudmann
Sent: Wed, 24 Aug 2016 13:56
Subject: Re: Manston DCO


Hi George, I know just where you’re coming from, I have three children in full time education and holidays are very precious.

Assuming that you are now reconnected I would appreciate it if you could answer the questions to the best of your best ability.

I do appreciate that there will be a statutory consultation stage but as DCOs are front loaded, I consider issues resolved at this early stage to be very important.   

To clarify the brownfield aspect. Brownfield land is defined, for the purpose of national planning policy prior to and in the National Planning Policy Framework, as land that has been previously developed. Airfields, as land that has been previously developed, are therefore regarded as brownfield land.
Best regards Michael

Reply from Susannah Guest at DFT

From: Susannah Guest <Susannah.guest@pins.gsi.gov.uk>
To: michaelchild <
michaelchild@aol.com>
Sent: Wed, 24 Aug 2016 13:36
Subject: RE: Manston Airport


Dear Mr Child

Thank you for your email below and we have noted your concerns about the lack of response from RiverOak to your previous emails.  I see that George Yerrall has now responded to your earlier email (via email dated 23.08.16) and in his reply states that all your issues will be addressed and published in due time.  To that end I continue to strongly encourage you to share all your detailed points below directly with RiverOak so that they too can be taken into account and addressed.

Kind regards
Susannah

My reply to Susannah

-----Original Message-----
From: michaelchild
To: Susannah.guest
Sent: Wed, 24 Aug 2016 15:59
Subject: Re: Manston Airport


Hi Susannah I telephoned (17.08.1016) Oliver Gardner who is one of RiverOak’s environment advisers and discussed the main issues, particulate air pollution with regard to the existing high levels in Thanet, noise pollution with respect to the unusually large number of listed buildings under the runway approach and water pollution as related to the source protection zones and the RAMSAR Pegwell Bay, intended discharge location.

We discussed these issues for some time, but as he didn’t have all of the information to hand he asked me to send my questions to him by email, so he could find answers and send them back to me.

(17.08.1016)

Michael,

Further to our call you can send your query to me at this email.

Regards,

Oliver

Oliver Gardner
Senior Consultant, Environmental Assessment
Amec Foster Wheeler Environment & Infrastructure UK Limited

Floor 4, 60 London Wall
London, EC2M 5TQ


Frankly while I am happy to try and respond to the RiverOak consultation I am fairly busy at the moment, so I forwarded the email to him, that I sent to you 24.08.2016 with a covering note.

As yet I haven’t had a response from him.

I will take your advice and send my queries to RiverOak.
Michael

As you see my engagement in the DCO process continues, however my bookshop is very busy despite the hot weather, this lot went out on the shelves today http://michaelsbookshop.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/resident-evil-in-bookshop.html


I was a bit late up this morning so very little progress with my watercolour painting of Ramsgate.  

Update, further correspondence this evening

From: George Yerrall <g.yerrall@riveroakic.com>
To: michaelchild <michaelchild@aol.com>
CC: consultationresponses <consultationresponses@riveroakinvestments.co.uk>; Susannah.guest <Susannah.guest@pins.gsi.gov.uk>; Niall Lawlor <n.lawlor@riveroakic.com>; Tony Freudmann <t.freudmann@riveroakic.com>; Angus Walker
Sent: Wed, 24 Aug 2016 20:42
Subject: RE: Manston DCO

Hi again Michael,
Your questions are fully noted.  With the consultation not closing until September 5th and pending further review from our legal team and master planners among others, I can only tell you that your questions will be answered in due course.
I appreciate your interest and I don’t mean to be obtuse.  We just want to do everything we need to do before we engage in the kind of specific answers you are requesting.
I look forward to corresponding with you again.
Best regards,
George

 Hi George, Thanks for the prompt reply I will add it to my blog post about it as it clarifies your position, I look forward to receiving your answers.  

-----Original Message-----
From: Susannah Guest <Susannah.guest@pins.gsi.gov.uk>
To: michaelchild <michaelchild@aol.com>
Sent: Wed, 24 Aug 2016 19:49
Subject: RE: Manston Airport

Dear Mr Child
Thank you for the update on the contact you’ve had with RiverOak, or more specifically with Oliver Gardner.  Whilst I understand the frustrations you have expressed in getting to this point, I am glad to hear that you have been able to speak with a representative of RiverOak and put your detailed questions to them (both via email and via Mr Gardner) for consideration.
Kind regards
Susannah

From: michaelchild
To: Susannah.guest
CC: oliver.gardner
Sent: Wed, 24 Aug 2016 21:36
Subject: Re: Manston Airport


Hi Susannah
A difficulty with environmental issues is that they tend to be complex and really require a dialogue with either a person or people who fully comprehend all of the aspects.
To achieve this dialogue one needs to have replies that are timely in relation to the deadline for resolution.
The air pollution issue in Thanet is a good example, ironically the local media are warning Thanet residents of level 8 tomorrow, see http://www.kentlive.news/toxic-smog-to-sweep-kent-this-week/story-29652803-detail/story.html note the map in the article and the particularly high levels in Thanet. This means that even normal healthy people should probably stay indoors, the RiverOak plan seems to be to burn 33 tonnes of avgas in the middle of this.

Michael

From: michaelchild
To: g.yerrall
CC: consultationresponses ; Susannah.guest ; n.lawlor ; t.freudmann ; AngusWALKER ; oliver.gardner 
Sent: Wed, 24 Aug 2016 22:38
Subject: Re: Manston DCO

Apologies all I made an error in one of my previous emails the level 8 air pollution  forecast for Thanet is for Saturday and not tomorrow, accurate? Perhaps. Information from https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/forecasting/ enlarged image of map attached.
 
I do know that it seems strange that a small area like Thanet pointing out into the sea should have both very high pollution and an annual average of particulates over NHO guidelines, possibly the map will help to clarify the problem.

Michael

   

22 comments:

  1. Rather a lot to read and take in. I get the impression no one knows and if the do know anything they dont want to answer your questions. Personally I think it is a dead duck and the airport is never going to rise again, I just hope all this CPO et al will go away so the new owners are able to start planning for a future of the site. I was a big supporter of the airport but it has gone and let's all move on River Oak must be costing TDC a small fortune maybe if they got off the pot we could get our streets cleaned. Don

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don, I am confused. Could you please explain why you believe that RO are in your words "costing TDC a small fortune"?

      RO have opted for a DCO hearing and that costs TDC nothing.

      RO are the ones forking out the money.

      Delete
    2. Michael,

      George's letter to you is nothing more than a polite 'I acknowledge receipt of your letter the contents of which have been noted. Yours sincerely (etc) ..

      Michael, I realise that you are long bent on discovering some hidden agenda, deception, smoking gun or the like. Perhaps there is none?

      Delete
    3. John every time someone puts in a freedom of information request or emails the council the replies cost TDC and all of the behind the scenes stuff has to be paid for. Those costs are not being met by RO in the mean time Thanets rate payers are going without services, in my small mind I put cause and consequences in the same park.

      Delete
    4. Don, This does not apply solely to RO. It also applies to those many varied areas of concern to an assorted public. Consequently the extension of your argument must be that we stop all FOI requests and TDC correspondence with the public on the grounds of cost?

      How much do you anticipate these consequence savings would be, and where do imagine they would be spent?

      Delete
    5. John we can all take everything to the enth degree to prove a point. TDC has to ensure the legalities of Manston are right over every part of its sale for houses or for reopening as an airport. The fiasco over animal export shows how legality has to be correct. Every a solicitor picks up a pen someone pays for it. The trouble with RO is they dont seem very upfront and finding anything out about them is difficult. I have always been pro Manston but historically it has been a commercial failiure

      Delete
    6. Don, I see, so now you are saying nothing more than RO are refusing to reveal information which in your opinion should be in the public domain. Do you have an inkling on what this hidden information might be?

      Or is it simply the case that in your view any stick to beat RO must be a good thing?

      Has it occurred to you that RO may be many many things but they are not stupid. They are seeking to invest millions of pounds of other peoples money in creating a profitable airport at Manston. Or maybe you believe that their investors are fools?

      You state that historically Manston airport has been a failure though you do not explain the causes. I imagine that RO are fully aware.

      I see that RO are inviting comments from the public on their plans for the airport (see their website) will you be advising them of your misgivings?

      Delete
    7. John I don't actually care what RO do they answer to their shareholders not to me. And yes maybe I do think they are fools I have not seen any successful ventures at Manston since the RAF pulled out and feel that RO are wasting time. I have been waiting for something to happen for so long I am running out of time my life is in its end run and I would like to see something positive happen out there. My idea of positive may differ from yours but we both want Thanet to thrive.

      Delete
    8. Don, You may think that RO are fools but in my observation they are not acting like fools.They give the clear impression that they have studied their subject and know exactly what they are doing. Among other things, they have hired the best legal brains and consultants to guide them.

      If say in three years RO have created a thriving airport at Manston will you amend your opinion of them?

      Delete
  2. Michael,

    George's letter to you is polite. In my view it is nothing more than a polite version of "I acknowledge receipt of your letter the contents of which have been note. Yours (etc)...

    Michael, I realise that you are long bent on discovering some dark secret or smoking gun. Maybe there is none?

    ReplyDelete
  3. John, firstly apologies for the comment moderation, there was a spam storm and I was worried that some links in comments that looked pretty harmless could cause people ITC issues. My working day was so busy that I failed to keep an eye on the moderation so I have only just allowed your comments.

    I think the main issue here is that the DCO process is front-loaded, which is why I think it is important to instigate a dialogue at this early stage.

    I would expect most of my questions would be easy for the experts involved to answer, which I am sure they will.

    I wouldn’t expect a dark secret and it certainly isn’t what I am looking for, I think there may be environmental and ethical funding issues, which need to be resolved prior to the DCO application stage, to fulfil the DCO criteria.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael, I take your point. But it seems to me that the common sense approach is the one that George advises when he says that the PINS consultation process is transparent and all of your issues will be addressed and published in due time.

      In the event there will be one DCO hearing and one decision. Nothing will be served by instigating several social media side hearings. Which are anyway powerless; containing little more than village gossip. (I'm not as polite as George).

      Delete
  4. John, this is why I have been sending the questions to the DFT first as the DCO process is both complex and new to me, I have then followed DFT advice which in these cases is to put the questions to RiverOak now.

    My assumption is that the DCO process is both transparent and front-loaded, which is why I am asking questions now, my particular interest is in the balance between commercial benefits and environmental costs inherent in this venture.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael,

      The entirety of life is a balance. As they say in Freetown, "Nuting is for nuting".

      What is truth, is your truth the same as mine.

      Thanet is a depressed area and is in need of well paid, highly skilled intelligent jobs. The sort of people who perhaps buy lots of books? River Oak is the only player in the game.

      Mallon and Stony Broke Park can offer none of this and, to be fair, have no intention of doing so. In my view they are from the developer partnership of Build, Grabbit and Runne.

      Delete
  5. John the Discovery Park track record isn’t at issue, as a local trader I am only too aware of how many of my customers work there and that it is now the largest source of local employment.

    I don’t think asking RiverOak about their track record, who their senior management team are, where their company is registered is unreasonable.

    If you have the information e.g. how many people are employed because of RiverOak, what other projects are they major investors in, why all the stuff they had on their website about being major players in European airports as gone and so on, please speak out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael,

      There you go again, muddying the waters. I made no reference whatsoever to Discovery Park. I do not care about that site.

      I said that Thanet is a depressed area and is in need of well paid, highly skilled intelligent jobs; and quickly. In the light of this River Oak is the only player in the game.

      I know that you have long held suspicions about RO's intentions and clearly doubt their integrity in regard to creating an airport. I get the impression you believe RO are lying and in truth wish to build houses all over the Manston site. You are still hunting for your smoking gun. Happy hunting, but I think your suspicions are risible.

      Just out of interest, have you read RO's statements on their website, have you ever challenged RO with your doubts?

      Anyway, you are free to have it out with RO and to tell them of your suspicions. I can understand why you are piqued about their lack of reply to your enquiries, so far.

      I have made my own inquiries about RO and I am satisfied as to RO's probity.

      Delete
  6. Hi John

    Sorry about that John I assumed that your reference to Stony Broke Park was a reference to the place where the largest number of people work locally.

    I am pleased you are satisfied with RiverOak’s integrity, but as you haven’t shared you information I will wait and see as their CEO says, from his email I inferred that would be before the 5th September.

    “Hi again Michael,

    Your questions are fully noted. With the consultation not closing until September 5th and pending further review from our legal team and master planners among others, I can only tell you that your questions will be answered in due course.”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael,

      Not quite before 5 September as you seem to believe. You will notice that he says, " With the consultation not closing until 5 September and pending further review from our legal team and master planners among others, I can only tell you that you questions will be answers in due course."

      Michael, due course does not imply before 5 September as you inferred. Due course means nothing more than when he is good and ready.

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. Michael,

      Is there any particular reason why you have withheld my other two posts, do they offend you criteria? I cannot see how.

      Delete
  8. (Corrected version of my earlier deleted post)

    Michael,

    Just for the record, can you tell me how many of the jobs at Discovery Park are new jobs introduced to our area, and how many are existing jobs that were relocated to DP from elsewhere in Thanet in order to take advantage of the introductory low rents?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ah John, I have been in Faversham today and while photographing the misericords in St Mary of Charity I turned the sound off on my phone as the shutter sound seemed incongruous to the atmosphere in that rather remarkable church. When I had finished I inadvertently omitted to turn the sound back on, so you commented but I didn’t know you had.

    On the matter of jobs at discovery park, I suppose the over 2,000 jobs there wouldn’t be there if it hadn’t happened, what proportion would be elsewhere, who would have moved away from the area, who would have been employed elsewhere in Thanet is unanswerable as I am sure you know.

    But by way of explanation, I run a business employing two people full time and two part time, where I to get a bigger and better site for my business at a lower rent, I would probably be able to employ more people. Very few successful businesses start from scratch, so any business park is likely to contain a great many businesses that have relocated, the majority of which will have relocated from the local area.

    Were Manston to become an airfreight hub I would expect the majority of airfreight businesses there will have relocated from somewhere else.

    On the subject of what George meant, you may well be right although a business needing to consult its legal team in order to divulge where it is registered to a local shop worker, doesn’t bode awfully well to my mind.

    ReplyDelete

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