Manston airport decision before long, after Planning Inspectorate sends recommendation to Grant Shapps

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Manston airport decision nears as Planning Inspectorate makes recommendation to secretary of state Grant Shapps

By Marijke Hall   mhall@thekmgroup.co.uk   (Kent Online)

Government planners have decided whether a bid to reopen Manston Airport as a cargo hub should be backed – but their views have yet to be made public.

The Planning Inspectorate has sent its recommendations on the controversial proposal to transport secretary Grant Shapps, who will make the final decision on the move

Mr Shapps now has three months to decide whether to grant planning permission to site owners RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) in the form of a Development Consent Order (DCO).

The decision rests with him as the airport bid is considered a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.

If approved, RSP will push forward with its plans to reopen Manston as an airport primarily focusing on cargo freight.

The Planning Inspectorate examined the DCO application during a lengthy enquiry over the summer, with a number of public hearings held.

Initially it also had to consider whether to allow RSP to compulsory purchase the site from former owners Stone Hill Park, which wanted to build up to 3,700 homes on the site.

But in July Stone Hill agreed to sell the land to RSP for £16.5m, leaving the Inspectorate only to decide whether to back the airport bid.

Its recommendations were given to the transport secretary today, but will only be published at the same time as the final decision.

RSP director Tony Freudman says there has been continuing growth in the air freight cargo market, driven chiefly by the increase in e-commerce and what is known as e-fulfillment – the growing demand for warehousing and storage.

He believes there is therefore a need for a cargo aviation hub.

But the proposal has been met with fierce opposition from some quarters, with opponents voicing fears about its viability, air pollution and noisy night flights, among a host of other concerns.

https://www.kentonline.co.uk/thanet/news/decision-on-airport-site-nears-214442/

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CAA data show slow rise in air freight tonnage over the past 10 years.

Tonnage has increased by 11.6% between 2008 and 2018

https://www.caa.co.uk/uploadedFiles/CAA/Content/Standard_Content/Data_and_analysis/Datasets/Airport_stats/Airport_data_2018_annual/Table_13_2_Freight.pdf.

2008 2018 % change 2008 to 2018
HEATHROW  1,397,054  1,699,663 22.60%
EAST MIDLANDS INTERNATIONAL  261,507  334,536 27.90%
STANSTED  197,738  226,128 14.50%
MANCHESTER  141,781  114,131 -19.50%
GATWICK  107,702  112,600 4.50%
BIRMINGHAM  12,192  33,709
BELFAST INTERNATIONAL  36,115  27,672
LUTON  40,518  26,193
EDINBURGH  12,418  20,316
GLASGOW  3,546  15,466
PRESTWICK  22,966  13,003
DONCASTER SHEFFIELD  1,350  7,107
ABERDEEN  4,006  5,706
NEWCASTLE  1,938  5,524
CARDIFF WALES  1,334  1,459
JERSEY  4,332  1,041
GUERNSEY  3,309  937
SCATSTA  723  449
SUMBURGH  144  333
ISLAY  275  283
SOUTHAMPTON  264  233
BELFAST CITY (GEORGE BEST)  168  227
NORWICH  239  220
STORNOWAY  551  217
LIVERPOOL (JOHN LENNON)  3,740  159
ISLE OF MAN  595  150
HUMBERSIDE  168  121
ALDERNEY  323  95
ISLES OF SCILLY (ST.MARYS)  180  74
LANDS END (ST JUST)  18  65
KIRKWALL  106  38
BENBECULA  235  24
TIREE  23  21
BARRA  34  13
BRISTOL  3  7
LONDON CITY  –  7
LEEDS BRADFORD  334  3
NEWQUAY  –  3
OXFORD (KIDLINGTON)  –  1
DURHAM TEES VALLEY  290  1
CAMPBELTOWN  1  0
EXETER  47  0
INVERNESS  526  0
BOURNEMOUTH  17  0
SOUTHEND  16  –
BLACKPOOL  47  –
CAMBRIDGE  18  –
COVENTRY  5,921  –
ISLES OF SCILLY (TRESCO)  38  –
MANSTON (KENT INT)  25,673  –
PENZANCE HELIPORT  190  –
WICK JOHN O GROATS  2  –
Total UK reporting airports 2,282,153 2,645,710 11.60%

Manston boss reveals 2022 opening date if cargo hub is approved but airport may still have no-deal Brexit use

ByMarijke Hall –   KENT TRAVEL NEWS  (Kent Online)
22 October 2019

A new cargo aviation hub at Manston could be open by spring 2022 if the controversial plans are given the green light.

Government planners have now decided if a bid to reopen the airport site should be backed, but their views have yet to be made public.

The Planning Inspectorate has sent its recommendations on the proposal to transport secretary Grant Shapps, who will make the final decision on the move.

Mr Shapps now has three months to decide whether to grant planning permission to site owners RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) in the form of a Development Consent Order (DCO).

The decision rests with him as the airport bid is considered a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.

If approved, RSP will push forward with its plans to reopen Manston as an airport primarily focusing on cargo freight.

Director of RSP Tony Freudman says he is “cautiously optimistic” it will go through.

“If so, it will mean the airport would have formal planning permission and full developmental approval for the cargo hub,” he said.

“We now own the airport so we no longer have to ask the secretary of state to give us a compulsory purchase order, which we originally wanted.”

He says the site might still be used for Operation Brock, which would see lorries parked there in the event of travel problems at Channel ports post-Brexit, until December 2020.

“Our plan is to start construction in 2021 and be open for business, once the licence is approved by the Civil Aviation Authority, in spring 2022.”

Mr Freudman says there has been continuing growth in the air freight cargo market, driven chiefly by the increase in e-commerce and what is known as e-fulfillment – the growing demand for warehousing and storage.

But the proposal has been met with fierce opposition from some quarters, with opponents voicing fears about its viability, air pollution and noisy night flights, among a host of other concerns.

The Planning Inspectorate examined the DCO application during a lengthy enquiry over the summer, with a number of public hearings held.

Initially it also had to consider whether to allow RSP to compulsory purchase the site from former owners Stone Hill Park, which wanted to build up to 3,700 homes on the land.

But in July Stone Hill agreed to sell it to RSP for £16.5m, leaving the Inspectorate only to decide whether to back the airport bid.

Its recommendations were given to the transport secretary on Friday, but will only be published at the same time as the final decision.

https://www.kentonline.co.uk/thanet/news/airport-opening-date-revealed-214591/

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