Friday, 5 January 2018

Manston Airport RiverOak DCO update

Here is the response from The Department for Transport to Wednesday’s email i.e Wednesday’s blog post, see

My question in black italics pins answers in blue 

Dear Mr Child

Thank you for your email.

I have extracted what I interpret to be the substantive questions and respond to them in order.

At the moment there seems to be conflicting information as to whether it would be only necessary to build an airfreight hub at Manston with the capacity for 10,000 movements per annum, or whether it would be necessary to increase the airfreight capacity of Manston by 10,000 freight movements per annum to qualify for a DCO. Further to this there seems to be some confusion as to whether the existing airfreight capacity of Manston would be taken as the capacity prior to its recent closure or whether some other figure is taken as the existing capacity. Could you kindly clarify this?

A teleconference between the Planning Inspectorate and RiverOak Strategic Partners was held on 22 November 2017, a note of which has been published:

In the teleconference the Applicant confirmed that the consultation documents informing its January 2018 consultation would set out the Applicant’s position on the baseline assumed in terms of flight numbers for the purposes of the capability test set out in the Planning Act 2008 (the PA2008).

The Planning Inspectorate, on behalf of the Secretary of State, cannot take a view on the Applicant’s approach in this regard until such time as an application is formally submitted and s55 of the PA2008 is engaged.

With Ramsgate the other significant issue would be aircraft noise exacerbated by the difficulties associated with sound insulation in the conservation area with many listed buildings including several schools. Do you know if there has been any progress in addressing this problem?

The Planning Inspectorate is unsighted on the detail of any updates in respect of the Applicant’s Environment Impact Assessment. The Applicant’s original Preliminary Environment Information Report is the only extant information about the likely significant effects of the Proposed Development in the public domain.  The Applicant did confirm in the aforementioned 22 November 2017 teleconference that its draft Development Consent Order would include provisions to secure a Noise Mitigation Plan and Noise Quota Count; but any special provisions in respect of heritage assets have not at this stage been specified.

I am assuming that there would have to be a property compensation scheme in place prior to acceptance of the DCO, as dealing with the noise compensation property blight issue in Ramsgate is likely to be one of the more costly aspects of the project. Obviously as the applicant has to prove to pins that they have adequate legitimately sourced funding to qualify for a DCO then I assume the approximate costs have to be known to do this, can you confirm this is the case?

In respect of claims for compensation, the provisions under the PA2008 are set out in s44 and s55.

In its Environmental Statement, the Applicant will be required to provide a description of the expected significant adverse effects of the Proposed Development and include measures to prevent or mitigate them. Those measures must in turn be secured in the Development Consent Order. If a compensation package forms part of an applicant’s mitigation strategy then logically the associated cost would need to be factored-in to an applicant’s demonstration that adequate funding is likely to be available.

In respect of funding, paragraph 18 of the DCLG’s guidance related to procedures for the Compulsory Acquisition of land states that applicants should be able to demonstrate that adequate funding is likely to be available to enable the Compulsory Acquisition within the statutory period following the order being made, and that the resource implications of a possible acquisition resulting from a blight notice have been taken account of.

I have been unable to find the “fully-developed proposals for Manston Airport” mentioned, do you know if the can be found online?

In the 22 November 2017 teleconference, the Applicant stated that its consultation materials would include an updated full Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR). The Planning Inspectorate would expect for the updated PEIR to be made available in conjunction with the Applicant’s formal notifications for its January 2018 consultation exercise.

Can you please tell me the last date the statement of community consultation has to appear before the consultation event?

The Applicant’s duties in respect of the preparation and publication of a Statement of Community Consultation (SoCC) are set out in s47 of the PA2008. The SoCC must be made available for inspection in a way that is reasonably convenient for people living in the vicinity of the land, and published in a local newspaper.
Can you please confirm that this is actually a third consultation and that there will be some point in interested parties like me attending it? To expand on this, will comments be collated in some way and count towards the decision to accept the DCO?

The Planning Inspectorate understands that the January 2018 consultation will be a second consultation carried out by the Applicant on a statutory basis. The first consultation undertaken by the Applicant was on a non-statutory basis. Anybody can make comments about the application to the Applicant in the same way as its previous statutory consultation exercise. As the consultation will be undertaken on a statutory basis, the Applicant will be required to have regard to the responses received as per the provisions in s49 of the PA2008.

Do pins consider that this application can remain open in perpetuity? 

The PA2008 process is frontloaded, meaning the onus is on applicants to get their applications right before they are submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. On that basis, provided that the statutory procedures set out in the PA2008 are satisfied there is no limit placed on the number of Pre-application consultation exercises a particular applicant may choose to undertake, and it is not unprecedented or unusual for an applicant to carry more than one statutory consultation exercise.

Have pins considered ways in which DCO application could be used to adjust an economic background for investment purposes?

Speculation of this type does not fall within the remit of the Planning Inspectorate’s consideration of land-use development consent applications.

As an interested party is there some way I can be notified about further consultations, or indeed anything I should read or respond to relating to this DCO?  

Applicants must publish a SoCC in the prescribed manner, as set out in s47 of the PA2008. Please contact the Applicant directly about any non-statutory means by which the local community can be kept up to date about its proposals.

If you require clarification in respect of the above, please contact me again directly.

Kind regards

Richard Price | National Infrastructure Case Manager
Major Applications & Plans

Temple Quay House, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN
Direct Line: 0303 444 5654
Helpline: 0303 444 5000

Web: (National Infrastructure Planning)
Twitter: @PINSgov

This communication does not constitute legal advice.
Please view our Information Charter before sending information to the Planning Inspectorate. 


  1. Are you yet in a position to let us have your conclusions following from you correspondence with PINS?

  2. Nope I'm in Wethespoons with my family, so haven't even read it properly

  3. John a few early thoughts, I’m a slow thinker and will have a better idea when I have slept on it.

    I think the most significant aspect is the avoiding of the particulate pollution mortality issue, I would think if that one backfired there could be compensation implications for everyone involved including pins and the government.

    Pins seem to be saying that they don’t know the basic criteria, minimum number of freight flights to qualify for a DCO, but that it is somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 pa and that they will decide when the application is submitted and so it goes on, no clear bar height for rsp to jump over with the land and blight compensation package either.

    My own take is that the London third runway build up to the DCO for that is likely to nearest the mark and that the probable land and blight compensation amounts would be huge and out of all proportion to any profit that could be made out of aviation activity at Manston.

    I can see advantages for pins in developing an approach to an airport DCO using one that looks completely unviable.

    RSP have published their statement of community consultation today, which says they will notify all of the residents of Ramsgate and Herne Bay by post. How this relates to such small venues open for just one day seems just bonkers to me.

    This boils down to individually telling 40,000 Ramsgate people about an event which has room for 50 people and will doubtless lead to complaints.

  4. Ramsgate Conservation Area compensation cost for RSP Cargo Hub project probably not priced in.

  5. Pat I would think for the CPO (now called CA) part of the DCO to work it would need something like the compensation package on the table for the forthcoming London 3rd airport. The noise problem for Manston being Ramsgate right at the end of the runway and all the time the acceptable level of noise decreasing, partly because of scientific research and partly because of people putting up with less.

    Added to this is that a DCO can only be for a massive level of expansion on existing capacity so the noise and other pollution is probably seen as new pollution. One thing saying “we are making a lot of noise, which is damaging to concentration levels, attainment in schools, productivity in local commerce, but we are presenting noise mitigation plans to reduce it” another thing altogether to say “we are going to make a lot of noise that wasn’t there before”


Please note comments that may be libellous, comments that may be construed as offensive, anonymous derogatory comments about real people, comments baiting internet trolls, comments saying that an anonymous comment was made by a named real person, boring comments and spam comments, comments in CAPs will be deleted. Playground stuff like calling real people by their time stamp or surname alone, referring to groups as gangs, old duffers and so on will result in deletion. Comment that may be construed as offensive to minority groups is not allowed here either, so think before you write it, remember that the internet is a public place, that it is very difficult to be truly anonymous and that everyone who uses it leaves a trail of some sort. Also note the facility to leave anonymous comment will be turned of during periods when I am unable to monitor comment, this will not affect people commenting who are signed on to their blogger accounts. When things are particularly difficult on the commercial spam front I may turn comment moderation on for periods.

If you feel that someone has left a comment that is offensive and directed at you personally please email me (link on the sidebar) asking to have it removed, you will need to tell which post and the date and timestamp of the offending comment. Please do not reply to the offending comment as I will assume you continuing the dialogue as meaning that you want the comments left there.