Change of Use plans rejected
Plans to change the use of four buildings at Manston Airport have been formally thrown out by the Planning Inspectorate.
Stone Hill Park had originally applied to Thanet District Council for permission to change the use of these buildings from aviation to general industrial, but TDC originally rejected permission. SHP appealed the decision, which went to PINS.
Shortly before the public inquiry earlier this year, TDC announced that they were not going to provide any evidence to uphold their decision, which left the battle between SHP and RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP), and their respective legal teams.
Inspector Matthew Nunn said, “the proposals would conflict with the council’s current approach to the location of new development within the airport, which is consistent with national policy”, adding, “The benefits of the scheme put forward by the appellants do not justify departure from Policy EC4 of the Local Plan.”
The site owners maintain that this will not affect their proposals for 2,500 houses on Manston Airport, and their outline plan for permission is due to be considered by TDC later this year.
Spokesman Ray Mallon was quoted as saying, “We believed the case put forward at the planning inquiry was compelling”, which those who actually attended the inquiry would dispute.
A spokesman from RSP said:
“RiverOak Strategic Partners is delighted that the inspector has dismissed Stone Hill Park’s appeals for the change of use of four airport buildings.”
“We presented a compelling case for Manston airport, to the inspector, which emphasised the flawed nature of Stone Hill Park’s assertions that Manston had no prospect of returning to airport use and the equally flawed assumptions behind the Avia Solutions report commissioned by Thanet Council.”
“RiverOak remains certain that Manston has a vibrant future as an airport and we intend to make sure it delivers on its full economic and employment potential for the east Kent region, by securing a DCO to reopen it as a vibrant hub for air freight, passenger and general aviation use.”