Tuesday, 10 March 2009

THE COUNCIL’S RESPONSE TO KENT INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT’S DRAFT MASTERPLAN

This document has just appeared and may be of some interest to those of you looking into the airport issue click here to read it.

Initial perusal suggests that we do really need to get the environment agency and southern water produce clear criteria about the limitations of expanding the airport on top of the aquifer.

Both in terms of what level of operation and size of aircraft fall into acceptable risk in terms of an accident and fuel spillage and what level of increased hard standing can be allowed before the effects on replenishment of the water supply is unacceptable.

12 comments:

  1. Having thoroughly read this document it is clear that Ramsgate residents have not up to this point, really been made aware of what is going on. Buried in a few paragraphs there is but a passing mention of the biggest issue at stake here -

    Noise

    Come the local elections, Ramsgate's councillors are going to be out on their ears. It's bad enough being steam-rollered by KCC, the Labour and Conservative's at national level and their local candidates, the Margate based TDC, a kiwi airport operator and a PR outfit from Tunbridge Wells but the residents of Ramsgate WILL have their say.

    Something is really, really wrong here.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This was on the TDC website over 2 weeks ago.

    The biggest issue. Um. Is it noise...or the aquifer...there's only one way to settle this...

    ReplyDelete
  3. There Jeremy is the problem, there are 757 posts (pages if you like) on this website and lots different people adding comment in different places, and I consider them and their comment important, so I have recent comments on the sidebar.

    This means the considerable number of people who read it know what has been added recently anywhere on any of the 757 pages without trawling through them every day.

    You can also click on: Click here for a quick résumé of the comment and posts on the main Thanet blogs. To find out what’s being added to them.

    With the TDC website they don’t do this, and I can’t do it for them as they have no feeds, if you are lucky enough to stumble upon something important, of if you have time to trawl through whole site every few days, when you do find somthing you Can’t comment on it, so that people can gauge what other people think about these things.

    There is also a search box at the top of this site that works reasonably well TDC could post all of the important information they put up on blogger as well as their own site, it wouldn’t cost much, when I put up their press releases it takes me less than a minuet to do each one.

    Now Jeremy I know that it’s on the TDC website, because you have told me, but even though I now know it’s there I can’t find it on their site.

    The biggest issue is trying to get answers to questions about important issues from TDC, and after my experiences over Pleasurama I don’t trust them to look after public safety.

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  4. It does have a flavour of accepting the "As is" situation as a baseline from which not to make "Significant" impacts on aquifer.

    If this is so then the plan is fundamentally flawed. If the existing situation is unsatisfactory it cannot be a basis for development.

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  5. What's wrong with accepting the "As is" situation as a baseline from which not to make "Significant" impacts on aquifer.

    Manston has been around longer than most of us, and has handled a great deal of traffic, commercial, private and military. It has also seen activity as an emergency diversion airfield where aircraft were sent there to crash!

    Can anyone post details of when this diverse and extensive use has had a significant impact on the aquifer?

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  6. Are we only allowed one issue to worry about Jeremy?

    Having read this document it is clear that the authors do not consider noise, and future noise predictions, as problematic. Which is odd, considering monitoring is non-existent at the moment.

    The masterplan clearly shows the situation for residents becoming much worse. However, it starts with the assumption that most of us are 'unaware of airport activities' from noise. Whereas most of us are very much aware. Thus, one must assume, the predicted impact is in reality way above the published impact.

    It rather looks like Ramsgate is being betrayed here.

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  7. anon 18 39

    You post a circular argument.

    To accept the "As is" situation requires that an impact study, on Manston's historical operations, is made.

    Recent precedents in Thanet are not at all helpful to your cause either. But for a Freedom of Information application Thanet would still not know about the huge cyclohexanone contamination of the aquifer at Sericol Poorhole Lane (which took place over decades)

    But for an FOI application Thanet would not know about contamination with mercury and mixed solvents at Thor.

    We cannot assume that cyclohexanone had no effects. That too requires research. And that issue also attracts the irrational circular response "What evidence do you have that cyclohexanone had a significant effect on health ?"

    Answer: "What evidence do you have that it did not have a significant effect on health ?"

    Either way research is meritted.

    Fact is that you have no evidence that the "As is" situation at Manston is satisfactory.

    Fact is that your argument flies in the face of precautionary principle too.

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  8. Anon 20.15 - I'm working on the basis that our water is monitored in accordance with legal requirements, and that as far as current scientific knowledge can prove, it is safe despite the existance of Manston.

    Of course, research is always meritted, and always has been. The question is, at what point do we accept the best current scientific evidence on which to base our future?

    The only circular argument here is one of waiting for more science. Discoveries will continue for ever, so waiting for a definitive outcome will constantly take you back to the starting point.

    The legend of the Oozlum Bird springs to mind.

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  9. When the EA rate the underground aquifers as poor, this should alarm anyone.

    We then have an issue of how the EA do not deal correctly with verbal EIR request for information. The current state of the Bulk Fuel Installations at Manston which in the words of the EA "pose a significant risk" to the ground water supplies again is worrying.

    Oh and this ones the best we are paying for the chemicals to be scrubbed out chum, via our water rates so the polluter pays principle does not apply?

    The single cause of our current water problems is our weak local authority and of course a lack of an EIA.

    Welcome to Ramsgate the most polluted coastal town in England.

    What is very worrying is the chummy way in which various agencies gang up to deliberately dumb down the problems.

    Malcolm

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  10. Malcolm, I agree with the sentiments of your argument, and I would welcome any safeguards that can realistically be put in place.

    So where do we go from here? Do we blame Manston for the poor aquifers without any supporting evidence, and shut the airport?

    Or do we continue "As Is" and ensure that any future expansion/development incorporates the latest safeguards.

    My preference is for expansion because the Master Plan for Manston recognises and incorporates legal requirements to safeguard the aquifer - something that probably won't happen if the airport continues to bumble along as it has done in recent years.

    And whilst jobs aren't necessarily the most important issue, I think most sensible people would admit that creation of local jobs does have merit.

    Of course, any bulk fuel installation will pose a risk, but probably no more than the numerous filling stations around Thanet and the tankers that service them. Surely the best way to deal with this is to upgrade them to the latest standards, something that won't happen without expansion.

    A couple of final points Malcolm.

    You appear to infer that the poor standard of the aquifer is due to Manston. Do you have any evidence to back this inference?

    You also say "Welcome to Ramsgate the most polluted coastal town in England". Do you have any evidence to back this statement?

    Because if you can't substantiate your comments it reduces your arguments to little more than one sided "tittle tattle".

    ReplyDelete
  11. And if he does have evidence, should he post it on a blog or pass it to the EA? How do you know that this hasn't happened? How do you know that these things aren't on tomorrow's agenda?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anon 21.49 - I don't know if Malcolm has any evidence in support of his comments. That's why I asked the question. Anyone who forms an opinion based on unsubstantiated comments is foolhardy.

    ReplyDelete

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