Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Those magnificent men, some old local aero picts and a minor Manston update.

Strange really for such a windy day, the bookshop has been busy and my time vanished. In amongst the busyness I realised that while there was some sort of further Manston DCO consultation and associated documents which needed looking at.

There are consultation events within the next three weeks and these are supposed to relate to a raft of new documents, but after that it all falls apart. Apart form a news item on the rsp website there is no other mention of them and no documents online.

There doesn’t seem to be a related “Statement of Community Consultation” either so does anyone know if this is part of the official consultation process or some hairbrained unofficial consultation like the first one which subsequently proved to be invalid and a waste of time.

A couple of pictures of a plane at Nash Road in 1928

A Bleriot photographed in 1913 I think it’s on the front in Cliftonville

This one is self evident.

Anyway after not much thought I bunged something off to pins, rather along the lines of what the heck is going on this time.

Hi I have just revisited this application to check for any progress. Please excuse this email being a bit muddled and fragmentary but I am short of time at the moment and fitting writing it in between customers at work. I would respectfully remind you that while you get paid for responding to it I don’t get paid for writing it. As I am directly affected by having long delayed and unclear plans for a potentially significant national infrastructure project hanging over the town I live and trade in I am obliged to respond to it.
As far as I can see the majority of people living here have been subjected to ongoing cries of wolf mixed with confused objectives so that there is very little public awareness of the situation.
I think if asked most local people would like to save the local airport with a view to being able to fly locally to holiday destination and having historic air displays, which is roughly what has happened in the past.
The actuality of the result of any DCO would appear to be a highly polluting freight facility with very little likelihood of either leisure flights or airshows. 
The actual DCO remit as stated on the pins website is. “The upgrade and reopening of Manston Airport primarily as a cargo airport, with some passenger services, with a capacity of at least 12,000 air cargo movements per year.” Without any more precise commitment at this level then I assume that would be applicant’s obligation. This has however been presented from inception as “saving Manston Airport” which is something very different, holidays in the sun, a boost to the local economy and additional leisure events. 
My main concern from inception has been addressing pollution issues with respect to the amount freight movements that would be necessary to comply with DCO legislation.
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?
My main concern from inception has been addressing air pollution issues with respect to the amount freight movements that would be necessary to comply with DCO legislation.
As per your recommendations “we would advise you to liaise directly with the Applicant, as the application for the proposed development is still in the process of being developed, and as such your views still have the opportunity to shape the application.”
I have copied my emails to the aplicant to you so I assume you will know that liaising seems to have presented difficulties for the applicant and so far they haven’t made any meaningful response to me and to honest I have now given up trying.
As the scientific journals relating to particulate air pollution enter the public domain I had been passing the information on, but without any connected response it is difficult to tell if the applicant was taking this information onboard.
In December another aspect that I hadn’t considered came up which is the affect of behaviour in adolescents, see 
Once again I should stress that it is the combination of burning at least 10,000 tones of jet fuel p.a. in a relatively small area, with a densely populated area immediately along the prevailing air flow direction and the onshore breezes action of reducing the air flow at the perimeter of the densely populated area, that looks particularly concerning.
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?
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? 
As a result of revisiting this issue I note that there will be further consultation events “Following the recent announcement that RiverOak Strategic Partners will be offering the public an opportunity to comment on its now fully-developed proposals for Manston Airport, prior to submitting the Development Consent Order application, RSP can now confirm the dates and venues for consultation events will be as follows:
23 January: Comfort Inn, Ramsgate 14:00-20:00
24 January: The Kings Hall, Herne Bay 14:00-20:00
Further details about the consultation period and how to respond will be provided in due course.”
In the first instance, I can’t find any notification relating to this consultation elsewhere, nothing on the pins website nothing posted up in the Ramsgate information centre, I registered my interest at both the previous consultations and haven’t had any notification from rsp. I run a retail business in Ramsgate and have asked some of my customers if the are aware of this consultation. I haven’t been able to find anyone who is aware of it.
I have been unable to find the “fully-developed proposals for Manston Airport” mentioned, do you know if the can be found online?
I also can’t fine any statement of community consultation relating to these events, either on the rsp website or the TDC one, as I now have accessibility issues, the time I have before the events to make arrangements to overcome them is important to me. Can you please tell me the last date the statement of community consultation has to appear before the consultation event?
In view of the large number of people, particularly under the unavoidable flight path in Ramsgate and the issue of having both to revisit extensive documentation and presumably read further new documentation I would think time is running out.
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?
Personally I have developed tinnitus since this project started and I foresee that I would have considerable accessibility issues if the Ramsgate session is reasonably well attended. To expand on this, a lot of people in a confined space all talking at once would be very difficult if not impossible for me to attend.
The underlying issue here is that from a common sense point of view a freight hub at Manston progressively appears increasingly unlikely to be viable. The figures just don’t appear to add up, the site already has an experienced and enthusiastic ownership with plans to exploit its brownfield status, which would suggest site acquisition compensation around that of brownfield land value for southeast England making the site worth around £1bn.
Any compensation package for Ramsgate along the lines of the one proposed for London airport expansion would be very costly, unless of course it is envisaged that the freight hub would go ahead without reasonable compensation.
Conversely the applicant appears to have no other airfreight hubs in fact no airports whatsoever, no tangible existing business where one could see evidence of substantial and available funds, that would in some way be logically directed into a substantial freight business.
At the moment the only impact the DCO application appears to be having is a variable amount of localised economic blight dependent on the publicity related to the DCO and so perhaps this could be used for investment purposes. 
So I think my main question relates to how I should proceed with this one, I have a limited amount of resources to put into responding to something that looks like an ongoing series of cry wolf in the hope that either there will eventually be no opposition, or the objective is not an aviation one. 
Do pins consider that this application can remain open in perpetuity? 
Have pins considered ways in which DCO application could be used to adjust an economic background for investment purposes?
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?  

Best regards Michael

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