In my view, based upon past experience with Industrial Planning issues, the EA should be involved. Indeed I think they should be involved as part of all the planning issues and meetings. There are far too many environmental issues at stake for them not to be actively involved, these issues to name but a few are :-
- Air Quality, seriously affected by emissions from aircraft engines, dumping of fuel under emergency situations, cargo handling equipment, lorries etc collecting cargo from the airport, passenger cars and the list could go on.
- Pollution arising from such things as run off from the runways, maintenance and servicing of aircraft and other vehicles, any form of accident and God forbid an aircraft crashing.
- For the current activities at Manston has there been an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) carried out?
- Is such an assessment planned for the proposed increase in activities?
In my experience there certainly should be such an assessment, otherwise there can be no record of what changes are occurring and what damage is being done to the environment.
When considering the environment it is not just the environment local to Manston for consideration the environment of a far wider area must be considered this could stretch from Whitstable all along the coast to Ramsgate and out into the sea, and down towards Maidstone, Ashford and Folkestone.
Continuing with the theme of assessments, again in my experience, Risk Assessments for all the activities at Manston should be carried out. These should take into account all the “What Ifs” such as:
- Serious accident ie, aircraft crashing
- Are the Emergency Services currently sufficiently manned, trained and equipped to deal with such emergencies?
- Again the list could go on.
I will be very interested to hear your comments to my points.
Also, could you provide me with the contact addresses, emails etc of all our local councillors, MP and any other parties/persons to lobby. I firmly believe that as many of the public as possible should ‘take up the cudgels’ to curtail any further activities at Manston.
M.L. Herne Bay
ML – you have touched on a number of good points.
- There is no doubt that the EA should have been actively encouraged to be more closely involved, starting a long time ago.
- The only people who don’t think an EIA is long overdue are the airport and the Council.
- The noise, air and water pollution are long-standing issues. On each count, both the airport and the Council have conspicuously failed to monitor the ongoing damage and the potential risks.
- No EIA has been carried out on Manston’s activities. Whenever the prospect of an EIA is mentioned, both the airport and the Council go pale, and start wriggling.
- You are absolutely right to highlight the geographical scope of the airport’s impact – the air and water pollution spread even further than the noise pollution.
- All emergency services live in dread of catastrophic major incidents. By definition, these are of such a scale that it is not economically feasible to be fully prepared for them. Put bluntly, the question becomes: by how much will the emergency services and medical services fail on the day?
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if other readers have more comments of their own…
- You can contact all your elected representatives through www.WriteToThem.com
- You can find details of the Canterbury councillors here (Peter Vickery-Jones holds the Transport Portfolio and sits on KIACC)
- You can find details of the Thanet councillors here (Joanna Gideon chairs the Airport Working Party)
- You should consider supporting CPRE Protect Kent – they’re supporting us.