Thursday, 26 May 2016

And then there was one

Well it seems Riveroak are the only player left in the long running Manston saga. Story from the Thanet Gazette
"Thanet council is expected to take no further action in looking for an indemnity partner for the compulsory purchase of Manston airport - but has claimed two groups are interested in buying the site.
Thanet council carried out a soft market testing exercise to seek interest for a CPO partner after American firm RiverOak was rejected by the authority for a second time in October.
A Prior Information Notice calling for expressions of interest was opened on Friday, January 15.
Five were received by the deadline of February 9.
The interested parties were then given until February 12 to respond to a follow-up questionnaire.
Three of these were deemed valid.
But Thanet council did receive interest from other parties, prompted by the CPO soft market testing process.
One party is approaching the current owners, Stone Hill Park, to negotiate a purchase and so did not participate in the soft market testing process.
Thanet council says that group is backed by sovereign wealth funds and potentially public sector pension funds and is considering investing up to £150million. This would be subject to a feasibility study showing that investment in the airport makes economic sense.
Another party also wanted to express interest in acquiring the site and was also directed to talk to Stone Hill Park bosses
In a report due to go to Cabinet members on June 16 Director of Corporate Governance Tim Howes states: "Based on the assessment one can draw the conclusions that in terms of the key lines of enquiry, the market cannot deliver on the council's requirements; there is no established market which is able to deliver, or an adequate number of operators; the market has no capacity to deliver the requirements and there is no cost or other benefits in taking this matter further."

Mr Howes recommends Thanet council: "take no further action in respect of the interested parties."

Council leader Chris Wells said: "The sovereign wealth fund group came to us through contact with SuMA (Supporters of Manston Airport) and that has been a very interesting development and one that we will continue to pursue - but not in the context of a CPO which they are not interested in.
"East Kent Chamber of Commerce have also been involved in engaging this potential new investor and the chamber and ourselves continue to engage with those who would make investments in Thanet."
Cllr Wells said the outcome would be down to market negotiations between the would-be investor and Stone Hill Park.
So what will it cost the one single investor who thinks they might invest up to £150M. Well 2500 houses planned at a cost of £200K each equates to £500M potential and that's a conservative estimate. So ask yourself reader would you sell out?
So how is the DCO going with Riveroak. The continue to discuss matters with the Planning Authority and little notes keep popping up from the PA. The latest is here (link to latest note)

So far so good
So we still have the terrible idea of at least 12000 aircraft movements including nightflights over this area 
So it seems that the LEGAL owners of Manston (Stone Hill Park) have refused to let Riveroak in. I wonder why? Maybe its to do with their failure to tell anyone how much of the land they want to steal.
RiverOak's lawyers, BDB submitted a 6(1)(b) notification as specified in Regulation 6(3) of the Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2009, but it was missing a required piece of information. (* a red lined map of the area )
This is what regulation 6 of those regulations require to be submitted when a notification is made regarding an EIA, such as the notification submitted by BDB on behalf of RiverOak.

(3) A request or notification under paragraph (1) must be accompanied by—

(a)a plan sufficient to identify the land;

(b)a brief description of the nature and purpose of the development and of its possible effects on the environment;

(c)such other information or representations as the person making the request may wish to provide or make.
The missing information was the area to be covered by the DCO.

Seems like RO aren't keen on disclosing which bit of land they want to compulsorily purchase. Is it because they don't know (which would be amazing after 2 years)? Or are they trying to hide something?
My guess is they don't want to disclose the red lined plan showing which land they want to include in the DCO. Could it include the housing behind Jentex? Or the cottages close to Helicharter? That would be contentious.
(Thanks for the clarification Marie)
 Michael Child poses the following point
"The Planning inspectorate have said in their advice that it is important that interested parties consult with RiverOak now i.e. in this pre statutory consultation stage, because the statutory consultation is front loaded.
I take this to mean that unless the content of the statutory consultation is decided by all of the interested parties then it is unlikely to be an effective part of the DCO. However RiverOak so far don’t seem to have answered any correspondence from interested parties."
Personally I, and many others, seriously thing Riveroak are attempting to make their consultation as difficult as humanly possible for any one to complain about what they are up to. 3 meetings with Parish Councils poorly advertised and no opportunity to give and accept feedback. A website that doesn't respond to any comments. Riveroak being based in the US of A not answering emails. No UK based  point of contact. It really is a nonsense.
So how are the pro airport people taking it. Funny you should ask
Dot I have some bad news for you and, of course, a correction. Firstly I am real unfortunately for you and I take exception to your scurrilousness lies. How very dare you talk about me behind my back especially when you dislike me talking about you. Now the correction: You have this arse about face your friends and colleagues are the ones threatening to shoot Gloag and do nothing else but make nasty vicious comments about anyone not pro airport including me, Marie and Robert Bird. So just imagine if you and your friends hadn't made those threatening comments we would have nothing to talk about.
 I do agree Dot SMA are "petty and ridiculous". Just so you understand you continue to make nasty comments about me and I will give you the publicity you richly deserve.
To Continue
SMA's fall out continues
Yes Dot you are viewed as the mouthpiece of Riveroak, You are hostile to anyone not toeing your party line. You are also nasty, vindictive and out of control.
Oh and putting more pressure on TDC planning to get your petty, vile and unneeded view across is again why the normal people of this world dislike SMA so much.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Cliffsend Cliff Hanger or Beau's blunder

On the 28th April 2016, on the second anniversary of the closure of Manston, Cliffsend Village had their annual meeting. Riveroak were afforded 25 minutes to give a talk and answer some questions. Roughly 50 people attended to hear Tony Freudmann talk.
Afterwards Beau Webber posted the following to his many admirers in SMA.
The highlighted text is by this author.

"On Thursday 28th April Tony Freudmann of RiverOak (RO) addressed a very congenial crowd of around 50 people at Cliffsend Parish Hall. It was a very factual account, acknowledging that, whilst RO were initially very disappointed that the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) with Thanet District Council (TDC) didn't go ahead, they accept that the possible risk perceived by TDC, (that of being involved in a multi-million pound project such as Manston Airport, despite the fact that RO were indemnity partners), was too much for a small district council to cope with.
RiverOak are now working with HM Planning Inspectorate (PINS) with regular meetings and discussions, all of which are minuted and can be read on the PINS website, to develop and validate RiverOak's plans for the Development Consent Order (DCO). Manston Airport is being considered as being of national importance, therefore attaching the title of NSIP (Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project) to the DCO. RO’s aim is to achieve acceptance of their DCO application by PINS by the end of 2016. Acceptance is not the end of the process but will be a big step towards securing the full DCO.
Specialist legal, planning and environmental teams were appointed in January and have made significant progress. However they are so far not being allowed access to the airport by the present owners, as is legally required. During their last conference call with the Planning Inspectorate RiverOak raised this matter. The Planning Inspectorate have power under the Planning Act 2008 to order site access.
RO anticipate the Manston project will over time involve capital expenditure in excess of £200Million as it will involve major reconstruction and additional work on the airport site, to enable Manston to have the capacity to handle ( an additional)* edited as this is what PINS will require) 10,000 freight movements a year, as well as improving the site access and infrastructure around Spitfire corner. RO will also liaise with both the Spitfire and RAF museums before final plans are in place. RO anticipate costs of at least £15Million to replace all the basic infrastructure removed by the present owners.
Very extensive environmental assessment will be undertaken to look into effects on air quality, noise pollution, water quality, wildlife, etc.
The scope of the environmental study is expected to provide the Isle of Thanet with the most thorough health check of the centre of the island that has ever been produced to date.

Employing local people will be a priority and involving educational programmes is part of the submission. Manston is anticipated to be roughly comparable with East Midlands Airport in the future, which is mostly freight but with passenger flights too. There the current figures are that the airport supports a total of 6,000 jobs on an annual turnover of approximately £100 Million.
RiverOak intend to hold pre-consultation(s) in June or July, with a full formal consultation to be held in the late summer. Local residents will have their chance to express opinions and these will be listened to and acted upon."

To date (nearly 2 years) neither TDC or the public have seen any detailed plans by Riveroak so this statement by Beau is either him winging it or he is privy to Tony Freudmann's plans however when this statement was discussed outside of the confines of their closed Facebook page a different story emerged.
Firstly Beau confirms he has no idea what Riveroaks plans are. His statement is based on listening to Freudmann for 25 minutes without taking notes. I'll leave the reader to decide whether the financial information inthe above is correct or not
Several questions from members concerned about the above statement were asked but answers were in short supply.

Readers might be wondering just why this is important. Well lets look at some facts and figures from the "roughly comparable East Midlands Airport"
Firstly EMA in 2015 handled just under 78000 flights which equates to just under 9 movements every hour with more during the day and less during the night (correct freight mainly comes in during the night) That is one movement every 7 minutes. And further as already explained the operation is 24/7 fortunately landing and takeoff isn't over Ramsgate.
Turnover in 2013 was £50M based on 78000 flights which equates to roughly £700 a landing. If Manston wants to achieve "roughly comparable" figures based on 12000 movements then they will be charging £4000 per plane. As John says this doesn't add up.
Then we have jobs EMA supports (not employs) 6000 jobs based on a 24/7 regime, based on 12000 movements that equates to under 1000 jobs and most of them would be ancillary not direct jobs.
Then we have the issue of money Beau talks about expenditure of £200M over time (?) however money doesn't grow on trees and turnover doesn't mean profit however lets do some sums Beau says turnover £100M on 78000 movements equates to £15M when you have the same costs and 12000 movements. Now thats not profit because all businesses have overheads. In 2014 EMA made £16.4M on a turnover of £50M which if you bring that back to 12000 movements they will make £2,55M so how will they have the money to invest up to £200M in infrastructure?

PS Collins and Smith have failed to attend court for the 11th time and are now committed to Crown Court to answer charges of theft and in smith's case assault as well.