The main issue this week has been the withdrawal of the Development Consent Order to build an airfreight hub at Manston.
I think the most worrying factor here is that this DCO application was put together by a reasonably good and professional team with previous DCO experience and that the net result of the DCO process so far has been to change the Thanet District Council administration to Conservative and cause Thanet to produce no Local Plan giving something of a free for all for housing developers.
This (in big blue) is what the Planning Inspectorate have said so far:-
1. Any resubmission by the Applicant will be treated as a new application for the purposes of the process. The Planning Inspectorate would have up to 28 days to take its decision about whether the application could be accepted for examination.
2. The Planning Inspectorate called the Applicant’s legal representatives (BDB Law) on 1 May 2018, setting out its principal concerns in respect of the application documents. Those concerns included:
• An absence of sufficient information within the application documents upon which to the Planning Inspectorate could base a decision about whether the Proposed Development constitutes a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) within the meaning in s23 of the Planning Act 2008.
• Gaps in the ecological, archaeological and ground investigation survey data presented within the Environmental Statement (ES) accompanying the application, which create uncertainty in the assessment of likely significant effects.
• Inconsistencies/ omissions in the noise and vibration assessment.
• The adequacy of the Transport Assessment accompanying the ES.
• The adequacy of the Funding Statement.
On 3 May 2018 a teleconference was held between the Planning Inspectorate, BDB Law and RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP). During this teleconference the Planning Inspectorate repeated its principal concerns (above) in the presence of RSP, who confirmed their intention to withdraw the application. Subsequently the application was formally withdrawn by letter dated 4 May 2018.
Today (11 May 2018) a meeting took place between the Planning Inspectorate and the Applicant at which the Inspectorate provided more detailed s51 advice in respect of the concerns noted within the documents associated with the withdrawn application. A note of the meeting is being prepared and will be published in the usual way in due course.
Here is the link to this advice on the Planning Inspectorate’s website https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/south-east/manston-airport/?ipcsection=advice&ipcadvice=3755f4d631
Of course, we will have to wait to read the meeting note to grasp all of it, but with so much wrong with the application it is difficult not to assume that the applicant knew the application would fail when they submitted it and what has actually happened is what they set out to achieve.
A few historic local pictures next
The bookshop being closed on Sunday we went to Canterbury where we did some shopping and stuff. I spent about half the time in Chocolate Cafe and the other half in bookshops. While I am on the bookshop subject here is the link to the books that went out in the bookshop yesterday mostly children's Ladybird Books and books about old busses.
I took a few photos of Canterbury, here is the link
Back to the DCO process I think the thing that hasn’t really been understood properly by people commenting about it, is that the process is front loaded and that this means that the applicant really has to have sorted out the issues before submitting the application.
I am assuming that the next stage will be another round of consultation with revised documents, but who knows they may just revise the documents but not consult anyone, as far as I can see Canterbury and Ramsgate councils didn't even get told about the last round of consultation, let alone get to the stage where RiverOak entered into some sort of dialogue with them.