DCO application approved for examination

The DCO (development consent order) application submitted by RiverOak Strategic Partners has been accepted for examination by the Planning Inspectorate, on behalf of the Secretary of State.

Onwards and upwards

Today we heard the exciting and welcome news that the proposal to reopen and develop Manston Airport in Kent has now been accepted for examination by the Government’s Planning Inspectorate (PINS). The UK company behind the bid, RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP), have spent four years and over £7million (by March 2018) in preparing their plans, which have the potential to bring a vast array of high-quality career jobs for local people and others in East Kent as well as hundreds of millions of pounds in new investment to East Kent.

By accepting the application for examination PINS have agreed that the project is a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) AND that RSP have demonstrated that they have sufficient funds available for the eventual Compulsory Purchase of the site.

The planning application process, known as a Development Consent Order (DCO), now enters its third phase, the ‘Pre-examination period’.  A great deal of research, including environmental assessments and extensive public consultation has resulted in a comprehensive DCO application with over 11,000 pages of detailed documentation.  During the next stage of the process interested parties can for the first time submit views and representations directly for consideration by PINS, as opposed to RSP.  There is no fixed timetable for this, it’s up to the developer, but is subject to a minimum of 28 days.  On average this pre-examination phase lasts about 3 months.

Save Manston Airport association are delighted to see RSP’s application moving forward.  There is still further to go in the DCO process but the remaining stages have a legally defined maximum duration – once the application moves on to Phase 4 (Examination) there is a maximum of 12 months for the Secretary of State to make a decision on whether to approve the DCO to reopen Manston Airport.  We look forward to an announcement in 2019 and once we have the necessary information we will be publishing guidance on how to register with PINS in order to have your say.