This planning lark! The airport pressure groups like to tell everyone that Cartner & Musgrave’s Manston site is an airport, has always been an airport, and can only ever be an airport. Well, that’s not strictly true, is it? Here are some facts. The old Thanet Local Plan ran out of life years ago. TDC then applied to the Secretary of State …Read More »
Regular readers will recall that the last time KLM showed any interest in Manston, they were being lured by the promise of £600,000 - money which Manston and KCC were trying to prise out of the Government's Regional Growth Fund. The Government said "No", and KLM faded into the background. I do hope this new service isn't being subsidised from the public purse (national, county or district).Read More »
Every now and then Charles Buchanan reports to KIACC (the airport’s consultative committee). These reports are usually a rattling good read, if only to pick out the bits where a favourable gloss is put on the less than lovely truth. The airport sale seems to be in the doldrums. The Olympics were a wash-out, although some planes parked at Manston. …Read More »
The AWP may be prepared to shoot itself in the foot, but it’s not preparing for much else. In August this year – 5 months after the airport was put up for sale – the Airport Working Party had one of their games of musical chairs, when the membership and chairmanship changes. When the music stopped, Cllr Jo Gideon had …Read More »
Manston Airport has been put up for sale. Bosses at Kent International Airport told staff at 10.30am yesterday (Friday) morning. The shock decision was made by owners Infratil. The New Zealand-based company also plans to sell its airport at Prestwick near Glasgow.Read More »
Manston is now a political football, and will be kicked around until Infratil take their ball home.
Cllr Bayford, who was Leader of the Council when both of Manston's night flying proposals were received, is now indulging in the time-honoured political tradition of finger-pointing, name-calling and blame-shifting.Read More »
Manston is nowhere near as simple in planning terms as other airports.
The absence of an overall planning consent and environmental impact assessment mean that there are unique circumstances which significantly change the legal landscape. Manston cannot apply for planning permission for night-flights on their own. They have to apply for planning permission for the whole airport.Read More »
Politics is the worst thing that ever happened to democracy, and I only realised this since getting involved in local community campaigns like this one.
The downsides of night flights - noise and other pollution, environmental destruction, reduced quality of life, worse health, more stress, harder-to-teach kids, etc. etc. - are all straightforward facts, and as such are strictly non-political.
The advertised upside of night flights - that they will allow the airport to achieve its master plan and the forecast jobs - is more a matter of belief, trust or interpretation, and as such is likely to coloured by the political colour of your mind/heart.
It's disheartening when political spin and point-scoring produce more heat than light, warming the hearts of political supporters without showing a way forward. (This criticism is emphatically not levelled at Laura alone, not by any means - they're all at it, most of the time, usually when there are better things to be doing.)Read More »
Thanet District Council have created cock-up out of chaos - a half-arsed consultation, then playing put the genie back in the bottle. It would have been so much simpler just to bat Manston's proposals straight back to them, just as the previous administration did, and for exactly the same reasons.
Originally, the consultation was to last 90 days, be carried out by MORI (for example), and cost £50-£80k. Councillors and members alike have been getting twitchy about the cost, and so they've opted to do it in-house, i.e. on the cheap. There's no suggestion that this will produce a better consultation.
Manston have dragged their feet for years over this, to the extent that even the Council has been appeared quite nimble in comparison. Nonetheless, Clive Hart has tried to allay our impatience by acting swiftly. Personally, for an exercise of this importance, I would rather he did it right than did it soon.
Having just realised that the S106 agreement means that Manston can proceed with whatever night flight policy they like, TDC have decided to wait and see what effect the night flights will have. Erm, quite apart from what their native common sense should be telling them, TDC have now commissioned two independent reports, both of which conclude that the costs of night flights outweigh the benefits.
They are also waiting to see if night flights would result in an "intensification or change of operation" at the airport. Hmmm... tricky one. Currently: 16 hours a day, with scheduled night flights forbidden. Proposed: 24 hours a day, with no limit on night flights. You know what - I think there will be a difference.Read More »
“Dunno, ask a pro”Read More »