Thursday, 13 September 2018

Lies, damn lies and the Save Manston Airport Association

Further to the successful town meetings in Ramsgate (7/9/2018) and Herne Bay (11/9/2018) the Save Manston Airport Association decided to post their own version of propaganda on their website. I reproduce it here myth by myth.
Myth one
"Local Authorities decide the levels appropriate to their areas" true but only to a point, They must use a formula devised by the Ministry of Housing, Community, and Local Government (MHCLG) and use laid down baseline studies such as Census & population studies. This must be agreed with MHCLG otherwise the plan is deemed unsound.
"The current local plan remains in force until replaced" incorrect!! The Council must decide on which policies to save and which would be incorporated into the Draft Local Plan.
"Each planning application is decided on its own merits with or without a local plan in force." again incorrect. TDC may decline or accept true but there are consequences. You cannot have a 5 year supply of land for housing if the plan has run out which Thanet's plan did in 2011 this leads to declined planning applications being overturned on appeal.

Myth two
Oh how manipulative they are, now the truth.
To be accepted as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) Riveroak Strategic Partners (RSP) have to prove the project is capable of 10000 Air Transport Movements (ATMs) however there is nothing stopping them from creating a projection that is significantly higher than 10000. In fact in their documents they have concluded the capability of Manston is 83220 (TR020002-002382-2.3 - NSIP Justification) which to use the calculation from SMAa equates to nearly 14 flights an hour or one every 4 and a half minutes.

Myth Three
"RSP are not applying for a license for scheduled night flights as these are not needed" An outright lie this one. As RSP decided that applying for the NSIP and then a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) aerodrome licence would take too long they made the decision to run the two applications side by side, Their application to the CAA was made in February 2017 and is reproduced below. You will note Night Flights for Cargo planes are indicated.

"Nearly all night cargo movements are integrated, night parcels/ mail. They are scheduled, short haul and very , very light weights, operated by modern, quiet aeroplanes, a lot smaller than we have previously been used to at Manston. At the moment Manston is not planned to be a part of these hub and spoke night services." The cynical amongst us might think that if "Manston is not planned to be part of these hubs" why mention it at all however as Manston was NEVER part of these in the past one can only presume Manston might well continue to attract CHARTERED Cargo which of course is the reason for applying for Night Flights.

Myth Four
"The Council proposes no such thing. SHP have submitted an application for outline planning permission for such a development" Another outright lie easily disproved by reference to the Draft Local Plan agreed by TDC in July 2018. If they were never part of the plan why move them to Green Field sites around the district.

Myth Five
First off both reports did in fact say Manston isn't viable however to start:
"The Avia Report of 2016 was prefaced with the caveat that it should not be should not be used or taken as business, financial, tax, accounting, legal or other advice." If one takes this tact on a standard caveat then the Planning Inspectorate should throw out Sally Dixon's report on Manston.
But of course they will not and the author of SMAa's report knows that fact.

Both Reports (Avia and Falcon) did in fact come to the conclusion that Manston wasn't viable despite the above,

However many other Aviation experts have come to the same conclusion. The overall verdict is that Manston is totally in the wrong place and too far to make it a viable cargo airport.

Myth Six
"The only way an airport could be developed at Manston is if an American company persuades the Government that it should be given the land" No one at the meeting would have said this because Riveroak LLP (based in Delaware) vanished from the reckoning in 2016,
"Riveroak Strategic Planning (RSP) is a UK registered company. It is RSP that is pursuing the DCO and it will be RSP that is involved with its operation" This is correct but not the whole story which SMAa take pains to avoid mentioning. RSP is 90% owned by a holding company MIO Investments registered in Belize ostensibly to hide the true ownership and therefore the control rests in the Belizean company not the UK.
Myth Seven
Most of this has already been dealt with above but "Modern aircraft are neither noisy nor dirty" as RSP have not indicated any aircraft at all in their applications I'm afraid SMAa are whistling into the wind when they state such a thing with certainty. If past history is anything to go by then what Manston attracts is charters which no one else wants.

Myth Eight
"As pointed out above, the draft Local Plan housing allocation is not cast in stone (1). Using ONS figures the new housing requirement has been recalculated at about 6,700 houses left to find, not 17,000 (2), and presently identified brownfield sites are more than sufficient for this demand (3)" Again SMAa being economical with facts. 1. Until the plan is accepted by MHCLG the 1st statement is true however the Govt. is entitled to call the plan as unsound and they can actually increase the housing allocation. 2. The total 20 year allocation (2011-2031) is 17140 and some have already been granted planning and some are already built. 3. This is simply wrong however if Manston (on the brown field register) 2500 houses could be taken off green fields.

As a final point a member of the public asked Bob Bayford (leader of the council) what were the dangers in having an unsound plan

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