Monday, 12 March 2018

Manston DCO Consultation process Post



Since my damascene conversion and support for the vast majority of local people who are prepared to sacrifice part of their lives, their mental and physical health for a new airfreight hub at Manston, my interest in the consultation process is unwavering.

To quote RiverOak aka RSP in their 2018 Preliminary Environmental Impact Study (non technical summery) 1.1.108 “There is health evidence drawn from the scientific literature that allows potential impacts on mortality and rates of certain diseases due to changes in noise and air pollutant exposure to be predicted quantitatively (in numerical terms). The scientific evidence shows that, depending on the level of noise or air pollution concentration, these may affect diseases of the heart, lungs and circulation system, mental health and wellbeing, and the overall risk of premature death.”

Bring it on I say, our forefathers made great sacrifices in two world wars from Manston and I am looking forward to making my own small sacrifice for the future of air cargo.

Oddly enough everything on the Manston DCO front seems to have gone a bit quiet so I thought it a good time to publish my correspondence with pins about the difficulty I had with the consultation process.  

To expand on this, I had hoped that my own small contribution would help to shape the great new cargo hub, but sadly I had great difficulty with the consultation process, particularly with using the document pack.

You may find this difficult to believe but there are a group of local people, well to be honest most of the don’t seem to be Thanet born and bred, who are not keen on suffering a debilitating disease, followed by premature death and they are actually against the DCO process.

I should stress here that this post isn't about the pros and cons of the DCO but about the process being very difficult and you will see near the end of the correspondence pins do seem so suggest that expert advice may be available.  

The upgrade and reopening of Manston Airport primarily as a cargo airport
   
Mon, 26 Feb 2018 13:32
 From michaelchild michaelchild@aol.com
To
manstonairport manstonairport@pins.gsi.gov.uk
Dear Manston DCO pins team


I am writing to you to complain about the Manston DCO consultation process, mainly because it doesn’t seem to have been consultation process engaging with local people to produce a viable and broadly acceptable project, but a promotional exercise preconceived and broadly inflexible for an airfreight hub. The approach has been much more like a conventional planning application that a front-loaded DCO application with appropriate public engagement.

You will have received my emails about this Fri, 16 Feb 2018 16:39 to the applicant and Mon, 19 Feb 2018 16:26 to Iain Livingston TDC, as I copied them to you you.

As I haven’t had replies to either of them I am now writing to pins.

With the applicant this 2018 consultation seems to me to be just another case of talking into the void, where one would normally expected a response leading to a dialogue that would have produced solutions or partial solutions.

For example, the issue of the website being published as unsearchable images of pdf files, which could only be downloaded to become active, but when downloaded were too big to run concurrently on any normal ITC could and would obviously have been best solved by writing a navigable and indexed website, but could have been partially solved by publishing them online as searchable pdf files. In the same way as pins and virtually every other organisation published pdfs online.

This could easily have been done using fast reliable and cheap hosting and at the very least the titles that appear on the document could have been included next to the links as some aid to navigation.

As such hosting will run in most internet browsers it means that all of the documents can be run concurrently in different tabs and the computing memory and processing is transferred to the hosting server. Obvious the main remaining issues are that there is no index, normal website organisation and each tab can only be searched individually and no the whole PEIR.

I have done this as an example using the Google Drive hosting facility, which in this instance costs about £5 for a month.

Below the links are on left side with the document title, not included on the rsp 2018 consultation links page to the right of the link

PEIR 1  Vol I Chapters 1 to 10

PEIR 2  Vol II Chapters 11 to 18

PIER 3  Vol III this is the maps and plans and as a pdf too big to run in anything so a folder of the pictshttps://drive.google.com/drive/folders/11KSiF-xMmLxeh-kFcggEyZfJVEhecNih

PEIR 4 Vol IV Appendices 1.1-1.3

PEIR 5
  Vol V Appendices 2.1-7.5

PEIR 6 Vol VI Appendices 7.6-9.5

PEIR 7 Volume VII Appendix 10.1 Part 1

PEIR 8 Volume VIII Appendix 10.1 Part 2

PEIR 9 Volume IX Appendix 10.1 Appendix B-Appendix F

PEIR 10 Volume X Appendices 11.1-12.5

PEIR 11 Volume XI Appendices 14.1-16.1

Other Documents

1 Introduction An Introduction to the Consultation

2 is the PEIR links above Preliminary Environmental Information Report

3 Non technical summery
  Non-Technical summary of the PEIR  (“NTS”)

4 Masterplan Masterplan

5 Noise mitigation Plan
 Noise Mitigation Plan

6 SOCC
 Statement of Community Consultation   

This would at least have meant most local people could have run the consultation documents on most of their devices. As it was I don’t really think that anyone could use the PEIR document in any meaningful way, statutory consultees and pins included.

Of course if pins have found a way of running the PEIR documents on a computer in a way that would have allowed any normal employed person with a reasonable amount of spare leisure time to devote to responding to the consultation then could you please tell me how this could be done?

Could pins get their own itc department to look at the way the documents were published, particularly in terms of the deliberately making the documents difficult to use?

From my point of view the applicant is also abusing the DCO application system by failing to reply in any meaningful way to feedback made by respondents both questions about the project but also to questions about the consultation process.

The overall affect of this failure to reply meaningfully, when combined with the number of consultations, three so far and producing the documents in an inaccessible way, is to deter people from engaging in the consultation process.  

I think it should be understood that Ramsgate, which is the main concentration of population that would be affected by the project contains some wards, which are not only among the most deprived in Kent but in the whole of the UK.

This means that many of the people who are likely to be affected will be less able to engage than would normally be the case and my feeling are the information and consultation sessions should have been held in the town centre, with very clear descriptions of both the projects benefits and disadvantages.

Holding the only consultation session in a hotel in one of the more salubrious residential parts of the town has connotations of the Savoy Grill being open to everyone, but everyone doesn’t use it in the way the would use say McDonalds.

I think this constitutes a deprivation accessibility issue, which should be addressed properly now and I wish to complain that this hasn’t happened, I feel that pins and all government departments should be proactively addressing depravation and should like your view on this issue.    

While publishing notifications in newspapers and on the applicant’s website sounds like a good method of promoting the consultation, local papers here now have a significantly lower circulation than was once was the case, with free paper delivery no longer occurring. Distributing posters and leaflets to shops, pubs, local information centre, hotels etc is now the norm and this didn’t happen with any of the consultation events or general notification of the consultation.

I also believe that something went badly wrong with the leaflet distribution, as far as I have been able to ascertain virtually no one actually receive a leaflet and the leaflets apparently contained no details of the negative effects related to the project.

Obviously as the applicant’s own documentation contains details of severe and adverse changes to life, this is a quote from the 2018 PEIR:- "in year 20, significant adverse effects have been identified as being likely a result of an increase in noise in the following communities which are in the vicinity of the airport and flight paths: Ramsgate;„  Manston;„  Wade;„  West Stourmouth; and„  Pegwell Bay.„ 1.1.83 In these communities aircraft noise would increase to the point where there would be a perceived change in quality of life for occupants of buildings in these communities or a perceived change in the acoustic character of shared open spaces within these communities."

With this in mind one would expect the local MPs to be actively helping local people to understand and respond to the consultation, as it is one has an aviation business and the other introduced the applicant to the local community. 

The future adverse affects will already be having an effect on the values of properties and business in the above areas, partly because of the consultation method not being clear and decisive and containing a comprehensive future compensation plan that would protect future property and business values, should compensation for this issue now be sought from pins or the applicant?



Obviously I am aware that this is the first time that a DCO has been used for a project affecting such a large number of people and the first time it has been used for a major airfreight facility so one would expect issues. I am however becoming concerned that the DCO process is proving unfit for this purpose, particularly in terms of the effects of future property blight and the time taken by people having to respond repeatedly to a poorly presented consultation process.

In view of the size and scope of the project and its effects could you kindly set out how the issue of compensation for time spent on responding repeatedly and property blight will be addressed, both in terms of time scale and how to apply for it.

In a general sense I also think that pins should be making some effort to engage with and support residents, particularly those in the most deprived wards affected, who may neither be able to use the internet or understand the implications of the application.

I think it should be understood that our local council are in a state of some disarray, mainly because of the ongoing DCO application, having rejected the local plan, has just had the majority party split, leader resign and appear to be under funded or resourced to properly assist people with the consultation process, both in terms of depravation accessibility issues and problems related to inadequacy of the consultation process. This is highlighted by the absence of any reply to my email to them.    

While I don’t think it was the intention of the DCO process to destabilise local government, this is what appears to have happened and appears to be just another costly aspect, which I assume will ultimately appear as a rise in council tax.    
Best regards Michael

To
michaelchild michaelchild@aol.com
CC
Manston Airport ManstonAirport@pins.gsi.gov.uk
Slideshow
Dear Michael

Thank you for your email.

As you are aware, if an application is submitted, this and your previous correspondences can be considered by the Secretary of State in addition to the statutory acceptance tests.

Could pins get their own itc department to look at the way the documents were published, particularly in terms of the deliberately making the documents difficult to use?

The Planning Inspectorate cannot test the adequacy of an applicant’s consultation until an application is submitted to it. The means by which the adequacy of consultation can be tested are set out in section 55 of the Planning Act 2008 (PA2008).

I think this constitutes a deprivation accessibility issue, which should be addressed properly now and I wish to complain that this hasn’t happened, I feel that pins and all government departments should be proactively addressing depravation and should like your view on this issue.

See above answer. Note in addition that at the Acceptance stage the Secretary of State must have regard to the extent to which the Applicants has had regard to government’s ‘Planning Act 2008: guidance on the pre-application process’:https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/418009/150326_Pre-Application_Guidance.pdf. Evidence in this regard should be provided by the Applicant in its Consultation Report.

In view of the size and scope of the project and its effects could you kindly set out how the issue of compensation for time spent on responding repeatedly and property blight will be addressed, both in terms of time scale and how to apply for it.

The PA2008 regime recognises that a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) may create blight reducing land values. Section 175 of the PA2008 amends Schedule 13 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to enable owner occupiers to serve a blight notice on the Secretary of State (SoS) requiring the SoS to purchase their property in certain circumstances. These are where a National Policy Statement (NPS) identifies a particular location as a potentially suitable location for an NSIP (there is no NPS in this case) or if land is blighted by an application being made for a Development Consent Order authorising the Compulsory Acquisition of the owner occupier’s land or from such authorisation being given.    

Separately, any interference with private interests may give rise to a right to make a relevant claim. For further information see FAQ14 in our Community Consultation FAQs and government guidance relating to Compulsory Acquisition procedures:


In respect of “compensation for time spent responding”, there is no mechanism through which this can be claimed at the Pre-application stage of the process. For details of the applicable costs regime after an application has been accepted for examination, I refer you to government’s ‘Awards of costs: examinations of applications for development consent orders’: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/awards-of-costs-examinations-of-applications-for-development-consent-orders

Kind regards

Richard Price | National Infrastructure Case Manager
Major Applications & Plans

cid:image001.png@01D0D51A.221127C0
Temple Quay House, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN
Direct Line: 0303 444 5654
Helpline: 0303 444 5000

Re: The upgrade and reopening of Manston Airport primarily as a cargo airport
   
Tue, 6 Mar 2018 16:50
 michaelchild michaelchild@aol.comHide
To
ManstonAirport ManstonAirport@pins.gsi.gov.uk
Slideshow
Dear Richard

I think the issue that you haven’t replied to here is that the application process itself, as distinct from the any blight caused by the actual NSIP, is causing blight and other problems of its own.

Were this a conventional planning application for an airfreight hub, I assume there would have been a distinct timeframe organised by the planning authority, application, public enquiry, etc followed by a decision. Most importantly there would have been some discernable end to the application and the associated uncertainty.

As things are here, the timeframe of the preapplication stage appears to be entirely dictated by the applicant and regardless of the result of the application is having local impacts now.

We have now had two years of the applicant releasing contradictory information into the local community and I am working on the assumption that this can happen in perpetuity.

A prime example of this contradictory information is the night flights issue, where for the bulk of this time the information has been there will be no night flights, however in the latest PEIR they are applying for a large nightime flying quota.

I am concerned by the application process’s impact on local government here, I myself am not a supporter of leaving the EU so I didn’t vote for UKIP, most local people who voted in the district council elections however, did vote IKIP and until recently we had a UKIP administration at Thanet Council, now we have a Conservative lead council.

It would appear that the root of this change of administration stems from local councillors not properly understanding the situation relating to the Manston site, CPO, CA, council cpo and therefore no longer being able to agree enough to function as an administration.

More precise questions.

Can the preapplication stage continue in perpetuity?

Are there circumstances where pins can cause the applicant to withdraw the application?

In terms of the deprivation issues relating to some parts of Ramsgate that are on the direct flight path (within 1 to 4 km of the end of the runway) and are also some of the most deprived wards in the uk, is there anywhere the local community could look for expert support during the preapplication and application stages?

Have there been any other DCO applications that have significant similarities to the Manston one, that I could look at in terms of comparative guidance?
  

Best regards Michael
RE: The upgrade and reopening of Manston Airport primarily as a cargo airport
   
Thu, 8 Mar 2018 14:56
 Manston Airport ManstonAirport@pins.gsi.gov.ukHide
To
michaelchild michaelchild@aol.com
CC
Manston Airport ManstonAirport@pins.gsi.gov.uk
Slideshow
Dear Mr Child
Thank you for your email.
Can the preapplication stage continue in perpetuity?
Please see my response to you dated 5 January 2018 within which I have already provided an answer to this question: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/south-east/manston-airport/?ipcsection=advice&ipcadvice=0bccaa1574
Are there circumstances where pins can cause the applicant to withdraw the application?
The Planning Inspectorate cannot compel an applicant to withdraw an application. If an application is submitted to the Planning Inspectorate and subsequently accepted for examination, it can only be:
· withdrawn by the Applicant; or
· decided, following due process, by the relevant Secretary of State.

In terms of the deprivation issues relating to some parts of Ramsgate that are on the direct flight path (within 1 to 4 km of the end of the runway) and are also some of the most deprived wards in the uk, is there anywhere the local community could look for expert support during the preapplication and application stages?
Any expert/ legal advice sought in respect of an application for development consent would need to be procured by an individual/ interest group or organisation by conventional means. Alternatively you could contact Planning Aid which offers free independent, professional advice and support to individuals and local communities wishing to engage in the planning process: http://www.rtpi.org.uk/planning-aid/
Have there been any other DCO applications that have significant similarities to the Manston one, that I could look at in terms of comparative guidance?
There have been no previous applications for development consent made under s23 of the Planning Act 2008. However, most applications for development consent will share similarities, to a greater or lesser extent, in respect of the most common issues examined across the breadth of NSIP development.
For decided applications a good place to start in identifying the main issues that influenced an Examining Authority’s (ExA) consideration of the case for development consent is, in each case, the respective ExA’s report to the Secretary of State (SoS) and the subsequent decision and statement of reasons issued by the SoS. ExA reports may assist in demonstrating to you, and other members of the local community, how individuals and interest groups can most helpfully and effectively make representations to an examination. Examples of reports and decisions associated with all decided NSIP applications are available to read on our website.
If you have any further questions about the process, please do not hesitate to contact us again.
Kind regards


 

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