Come in, your time is up!

riveroak rsp consultation event

Well that’s it.  RiverOak’s statutory consultation period has come to an end.  Six weeks (longer than required by statute) have passed quickly, and now RSP will be busy beavering away to collate all the responses received, in order to include as part of their application to the Planning Inspectorate.

RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) is proposing to reopen Manston Airport as a vibrant air freight hub with associated business aviation and passenger services, creating almost 30,000 jobs by the airport’s 20th year of operation.  Since Monday 12 June they have been consulting on their proposals before submitting an application for a Development Consent Order to the Planning Inspectorate.  This consultation will fulfil a number of requirements set out in the Planning Act 2008, allowing them to refine their proposals before submitting the application.

The consultation closed at 23:59 on Sunday 23rd July.  Whilst final figures are waiting to be released, last week RSP revealed that they had received more than 1,200 feedback forms, whilst 1,900 people attended their face-to-face consultation events across Thanet in June and early July.

There will inevitably be a lull over the summer period, whilst RSP finalises the application and Parliament is in recess, but we must not rest on our laurels.

There is still a lot of false information being peddled by those that would rather see our Airport covered in houses, and you can help educate others who are not fully aware of our campaign.

Please encourage your friends and neighbours to join us.  They don’t have to join our Facebook group, and we have a mailing list option too (over on the right).

We also rely on your donations to keep us campaigning – if you want to help, you can donate here.

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Change of Use plans rejected

tdc office

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.”

You can read more on this story at Isle of Thanet News and Kent News

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Why is your councillor denied the facts?

Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Why is your Councillor denied the facts about Manston Airport?

Thousands of people in Thanet and East Kent have flocked to see the RiverOak presentations of their plans for aviation at Manston Airport.

Dover District Council and Kent County Council have both scheduled meetings of their full Councils for all Councillors to participate in the statutory consultation process.

Why will Thanet District Council not allow full Council to see a RiverOak presentation on their plans for Manston Airport?  TDC are insisting that RiverOak give a presentation to a closed cabinet meeting.

If you think this should be an open meeting to the full council, then please write to the TDC leader:

Cllr Chris Wells
Thanet District Council
PO Box 9
Cecil Street
MARGATE
CT9 1XZ

Also write to your Ward councillors (details available here) and ask that they demand the right to hear a RiverOak presentation, so they can fully represent your views.

Save Manston Airport association

RiverOak’s lawyers Bircham Dyson Bell have now commented on this matter :

Consultation with Thanet District Council regarding Manston Airport proposals

On or around 7 July 2017, Thanet District Council (TDC) issued this statement about the statutory consultation on RiverOak Strategic Partners’ (RSP’s) proposals to reopen Manston Airport. The statement contains a number of inaccuracies and misunderstandings that we are happy to set straight.  [Read More]

Click on graphic to enlarge or select PDF below.

Your_TDC_Councillor_needs_to_know

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RSP announces partnership with Securitas

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RiverOak Strategic Partners has announced an exclusive partnership with Securitas to implement and operate a full suite of fire and security services at Manston Airport in Kent.

Securitas, specialists in all aspects of aviation security, will provide fire and safety expertise, manage specialist detection teams, handle general-purpose security dog teams and provide an City and Guilds-accredited onsite security resource, in conjunction with state-of-the-art security technology.

RiverOak is proposing to reopen Manston Airport as a vibrant air freight hub with associated business aviation and passenger services, creating almost 30,000 jobs by the airport’s 20th year of operation.  It is currently consulting on these proposals before submitting an application for a Development Consent Order to the Planning Inspectorate.  The consultation runs from Monday 12th June 2017 to Sunday 23th July 2017.

Following the statutory consultation, the DCO application will be submitted later this year.  A decision by the Secretary of State is expected by the end of 2018, with opening of the re-built and refurbished airport planned in 2020.

RiverOak director George Yerrall said:

“We have been working alongside Securitas for some months now and are delighted to be able make this announcement. Securitas looks after security at 220 airports in 53 countries and they have a deserved international reputation, not just for their high security standards, but also for their progressive attitude to pay, conditions and staff training.”

Shaun Kennedy, Director of Specialised Protective Services, Securitas, added:

“Having worked closely with the RiverOak team we understand their vision but we also recognise the future security challenges in this sector. Our vast experience in aviation, security, fire and safety, canine and risk management makes us a perfect fit for RiverOak Strategic Partners. By blending people, technology and knowledge, Securitas is perfectly placed to provide a total security solution at Manston Airport.”

This article is available on the RSP website: http://rsp.co.uk/news/riveroak-announces-partnership-with-securitas/

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Statutory Consultation Events Start

riveroak rsp manston overview

RSP’s Statutory Consultation Events, in order to inform their application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) for Manston Airport start this week!

For more details, and to see the in-depth consultation documents, visit their website: http://rsp.co.uk/statutory-consultation/

Please make sure you use this opportunity to let RSP know you support their proposed plans for returning aviation to Manston Airport!

Consultation Events

You can find out more about RSP’s proposals by visiting one of their consultation events which are being held as follows:

  • The King’s Hall, Herne Bay, Wednesday 14 June: 2pm – 8pm
  • The Pavilion, Broadstairs, Thursday 15 June: 2pm – 8pm
  • Cliffsend Village Hall, Friday 16 June: 2pm – 8pm
  • The Sands Hotel, Margate, Saturday 17 June: 10am – 2pm
  • The Guildhall, Sandwich, Tuesday 20 June: 2pm – 8pm
  • Abode Hotel, Canterbury, Thursday 22 June: 2pm – 8pm
  • The Comfort Inn, Ramsgate, Saturday 24 June: 10am – 2pm

Throughout the consultation, documents will also be available for inspection at the consultation events as well as in the following libraries, during their normal opening hours:

  • Birchington Library
  • Broadstairs Library
  • Cliftonville Library
  • Deal Library (full copy of Preliminary Environmental Information report available here)
  • Herne Bay Library (full copy of Preliminary Environmental Information report available here)
  • Margate Library (full copy of Preliminary Environmental Information report available here)
  • Minster-in-Thanet Library
  • Newington Library
  • Ramsgate Library
  • Sandwich Library
  • Westgate Library

Sending your feedback

There are various ways that you can respond to RSP’s consultation.  All consultation responses must be received by 11.59pm on the last day of the consultation, 23 July 2017, or they may not be able to take them into account.

  • by post: Feedback Forms and any other consultation responses can be posted to PO Box 3297, Bristol, BS1 9LL;
  • online by clicking here;
  • by email: Consultation responses can be emailed to manston@communityrelations.co.uk; and
  • at the consultation events: Feedback Forms will be available at the consultation events and can be left at the event or returned by post.

RSP will provide an acknowledgement for consultation responses that include a valid email address or postal address.

How to contact RSP

If you need any further information or you have questions about the consultation process or events, please contact RSP on 0800 030 4137 (Monday – Friday, 9am – 5.30pm) or by emailing: manston@communityrelations.co.uk.

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RSP plans 30,000 jobs

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The following is an update from RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP):

Even in first year of operation almost 6,000 people will find employment as a result of Manston’s revival.

Under RiverOak Strategic Partners’ plans to reopen Manston Airport, as an air freight hub with passenger services and business aviation, more than 4,200 people would be employed directly at the airport site by its twentieth year of operation, with a further 26,000 jobs created in the wider economy.

The figures have been revealed as the final report in a four volume set, entitled Manston Airport: a regional and national asset, is published, considering the socio-economic impact of reopening the airport.

The four reports were commissioned by RiverOak Strategic Partners, from respected aviation academic Dr Sally Dixon of Azimuth Associates and include detailed business modelling, interviews with airlines, freight forwarders and integrators, together with analysis of the pent-up demand for air freight, which is currently costing the UK economy more than £2 Billion in lost income.

Dr Dixon’s reports show that air freight is increasingly being bumped from busy passenger aircraft, causing delays as goods bound to or from UK businesses and consumers have to be flown into and out of northern European airports and trucked across the Channel. In comparison to its congested neighbours in the South-East, Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, Manston Airport represents an ideal opportunity to deliver runway capacity to meet this pent-up demand – and, in doing so, thousands of jobs will be created for Thanet and the wider Kent region.

George Yerrall, director of RiverOak Strategic Partners, said: “From the date that the airport reopens, almost 6,000 jobs would be created – around 850 jobs on the airport site itself and a further 5,000 indirect and catalytic jobs in the wider economy, in associated industries or businesses.

“The positive economic impact grows each year along with the airport. We have forecast up until the twentieth year of operation, by which time 30,000 people in Thanet and East Kent would be able to trace their job to the revival of the airport.

“We have a real opportunity to tap into a proven demand for air freight that other South-East airports simply can’t meet. The £2 billion lost to the UK economy each year is set to almost double by 2050, even with an additional runway at Heathrow. Manston Airport is ideally placed to help recapture this traffic, which is being displaced to northern Europe. In meeting this demand, we create huge employment potential for Thanet and provide a powerful economic boost for the nation.

“We are in the process of discussing with local colleges and businesses how best to maximize career and supply chain opportunities in Manston.”

Employment at the airport would be a mix of role types, including:

• Freight services

• Passenger services

• Rescue and Fire Fighting Services

• Airport operations

• Maintenance

• Site and freight security

• Administration

• Air Traffic Services

Dr Dixon is an academic attached to Cranfield University. She is a specialist in stakeholder involvement with major airport infrastructure, lecturing on stakeholder influences on airport master planning to Cranfield MSc students. Dr Dixon holds a PhD from Cranfield and an MBA from Kent University and is a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

She adds: “Thanet District Council’s economic development plan is ambitious. The council is starting from a challenging situation, given that local employment, productivity and wages are generally lower than in other parts of Kent. My research evidences that a vibrant air freight hub at Manston will be vitally important in stimulating thousands of high quality jobs at the airport and in the local area, helping the council to deliver an economic output that puts Thanet on a par with rest of Kent.”

RiverOak Strategic Partners is preparing for the next stage of consultation on proposals to reopen Manston Airport. The consultation is now expected to start in June, after the General Election. Full details of how local people across East Kent can participate in the consultation will be published shortly.

This article can be read on the RSP website: http://www.rsp.co.uk/blog/post/riveroak-strategic-partners-plans-for-manston-set-to-create-almost-30-000-jobs-in-thanet

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Consultations start 12th June

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RiverOak Strategic Partners has announced that their statutory pre-application consultation will start on Monday 12 June, directly after the General Election.

The consultation will last for six weeks and will close on Sunday 23 July. In order to give as many local people and organisations as possible an opportunity to participate this is two weeks longer than the minimum required for statutory consultation. The consultation will also be publicised widely, via letters to those closest to the site, leaflets to those further away, and local newspapers and other media for those in the rest of Thanet and beyond.

During the consultation copies of the proposed airport masterplan, detailed research reports into the demand for Manston as an airport, the economic and social impact of reviving the airport and the Preliminary Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) will all be available for inspection and comment. RiverOak Strategic Partners will also be holding consultation events across Thanet and East Kent, which anyone is welcome to attend.

The consultation is an opportunity for members of the public to scrutinise their proposals and suggest any changes to them. RiverOak Strategic Partners is also keen to hear any ideas about how to maximise the benefits to the region from reopening Manston Airport.

Full details of consultation events and how to participate in the consultation will be published in due course in local and national newspapers, online and via leaflets delivered to households in communities living around the airport.

Ahead of the consultation, RiverOak Strategic Partners has made several documents available that were previously submitted as part of the consultation on Thanet District Council’s local plan by way of background to the project. These documents are:

1. Azimuth Associates: Manston Airport a national and regional aviation asset – Volume I Demand in the South East of the UK

2. Azimuth Associates: Manston Airport a national and regional aviation asset – Volume II a qualitative study of regional demand

3. Azimuth Associates: Manston Airport a national and regional aviation asset – Volume III the forecast

4. Northpoint Aviation: The Shortcomings of the Avia Solutions Report and an Overview of RSP’s Proposals for Airport Operation at Manston

The Northpoint Aviation Report will not form part of the upcoming consultation, however updated versions of the reports by Azimuth Associates will be included in the consultation.

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Statutory Consultations Coming Soon!

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We can announce that RSP plan their statutory consultation events to begin the week after the general election, which equates to the week commencing 12th June.

RiverOak Strategic Partners director Tony Freudmann revealed the news in an interview with John Warnett on BBC Radio Kent this morning.

In the same interview, SHP spokesman Ray Mallon stated that only Sir Roger Gale was suggesting that Manston Airport is a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Asset – this is not the case.  We are all suggesting this.

More details to follow.

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RSP threaten legal action

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BBC South East Today yesterday (11th April 2017) revealed that RiverOak Strategic Partners Ltd is threatening Thanet District Council leader Chris Wells with legal action, over potentially libellous comments he made regarding the location of one of their key investors.

A transcript of the report is below.

Rob Smith (Anchor):

Lawyers acting for RiverOak, the company that’s hoping to re-open Manston Airport in East Kent are threatening legal action against the leader of Thanet District Council, Chris Wells.

Juliette Parkin (Anchor):

It follows an email he sent to fellow councillors, claiming that Belize, where one of RiverOak’s key investors is based, is a major money-laundering country, linked to the illegal drugs trade and human trafficking.  Peter Whittlesea has our exclusive story.

Peter Whittlesea (narrating):

It may have closed, but the company RiverOak that plans to reopen Manston Airport is threatening to sue the leader of Thanet District Council following comments he made regarding the company’s financial interests in Central America.  In an email to a local resident and copied to thirty five members of Thanet Council, Chris Wells wrote: “Belize is one of fourteen Caribbean nations named by the US as a ‘major money-laundering country'”, adding, “whose currency transactions involve proceeds from international narcotics trafficking, and Belize is a shipment point for marijuana and cocaine, human trafficking is also a concern.”

Save the airport campaigners say they’re shocked a reputable company, trying to create employment in Thanet, has been written about in this way.

Nicholas Reed (Manston Airport campaigner):

The allegations are something about RiverOak’s, got something to do with some obscure country in South America which is a most extraordinary implication to make about a perfectly respectable organisation which has been trying very hard for several years to get a fair hearing.

Peter Whittlesea (narrating):

RiverOak’s legal team have written to Chris Wells demanding “an unqualified withdrawal of the allegations, and an apology.  Confirmation that you will recuse yourself from the involvement of any decision of Thanet District Council relating to the Manston Airport site.  And payment of a significant sum in damages for the damage caused to RiverOak’s reputation”.

Chris Wells (UKIP Leader, Thanet District Council):

I’m not sure that’s even a relevant statement for anybody to make, so no, no comment at all.

Peter Whittlesea (narrating):

That was Chris Wells’ response today, but when elected as UKIP’s first council leader, he promised to keep Thanet District Council out of the headlines.

Chris Wells (in 2015):

We’ll see whether or not by adopting a very different approach, a very sort of more calm approach in doing things, that we can actually find that Thanet Council becomes less the object of people’s attention, and more the object of admiration because they simply get on with getting the job done.

Peter Whittlesea (narrating):

But critics say when it comes to Manston Airport, that the council has failed to get the job done.

Juliette Parkin (Anchor):

Ok, well er, we can cross live to Peter Whittlesea who’s in Manston for us now.  So Peter, what more have RiverOak had to say today?

Peter Whittlesea (Reporter):

Well RiverOak said they gave Chris Wells a deadline of 5pm this evening to meet their demands or he’d face legal action.  They said that he hasn’t tonight correct his libellous allegations, and, but, he has asked for extra time.  Now the interesting this is what happens next.  If Chris Wells does not defend this, then what his political opponents are saying, he’ll become a lame duck council leader because he won’t be able to make crucial decisions when it comes to Manston Airport.  But if he does defend it, I understand these are claims against him personally, not the council, so the big question is, does he have enough cash to fight a legal, er, er, legal battle against a big company?  Because we all know that legal battles can be expensive.

Juliette Parkin (Anchor):

Okay Peter, thanks very much.

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Gale’s View – 29th Mar 2017

sir roger gale header

Paul Francis, who writes for this newspaper, is a competent journalist bedevilled by a headline writer with an eye for sensationalism rather than fact!

A couple of weeks ago we were treated to the front page suggestion that ‘Development Plans Kill Off Airport Hope’. Last week we were told that ‘RiverOak has pulled out of Manston’. Neither, as anyone who actually attended the recent Planning Inspectorate hearings in Thanet Council Offices will know, is true.

Thanet’s Draft Local Plan is deeply flawed both in content and in process and will be subjected to rigorous public scrutiny and, I suspect, condemnation when it is considered by a planning inspector. The proposals put forward by Ms Gloag’s Lothian Shelf company are, as was exposed by the planning inquiry, lightweight and lacking in substance.

It is correct that two of RiverOak’s senior main Board Directors, Niall Lawlor and George Yerrall, have left the RiverOak Corporation of America. They have bought out that company’s interests (at a million bucks or so not bad for a company that Mr Wells would like us to believe has no money!) to establish RiverOak UK as a British enterprise with a Head Office in London and to devote their entire energies to the re- opening of Manston Airport. Hardly “pulling out of Manston”!

While this paper’s headline was landing on your doormats, RiverOak was hosting a breakfast briefing at the House of Commons, in the presence of those who intend to finance the acquisition and rebuilding of the airport via a Development Consent Order (DCO), for the Chairman and members of the Transport Select Committee and other MPs. This event detailed in terms the Company’s intentions and the timelines for the process that will lead to literal and economic take- off.

Contrast that approach, if you will, with TDC’s commissioning of a report to get the Council out of the election pledge made by Cllr Wells and the subsequent further ‘study’ allegedly being carried out by The Disruptive Finance company (with whom Craig Mackinlay and I spoke about a year ago) upon which Mr. Wells is now staking his County Council election hopes.

As I told the Planning Inspector recently we shall, post-Brexit, need every inch of airport capacity in the South East if we are to develop new markets in Asia and the Far East and to build the economic success that we seek as a nation. Trying to re- furnish an operational airport would have been a nightmare. With adequate funding, which is now readily available to RiverOak UK, we instead have the exciting prospect of creating, practically from scratch, a brand new, world class, state-of-the-art freight hub and subsequent passenger airport to serve the needs of UK Ltd, and to bring business lost to mainland Europe back to Britain. That surely, is a project that ought to have the full support of Government at every level.

One final comment. I am asked, occasionally, “what’s in it for you?” Apart from the satisfaction of securing the future of a national asset for my Country I have, indeed, made one – and only one- request of RiverOak. I have asked that the first aircraft to land again at Manston, alongside a plane representing Sue Girdler’s TG Aviation (in memory of the founder of the firm, her Father, Ted) shall be a Spitfire. This is a Battle of Britain that we have to win.

RiverOak Strategic Partners Limited is the new UK registered company pursuing the DCO.

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