Tell Stone Hill Park what you think!

stone hill park planning application

Stone Hill Park Ltd are accepting comments on their all new enhanced masterplan framework, which is currently being consulted at the grand total of two events in Thanet.

You can visit the website here.  The feedback form is at the bottom of the page.

As ever, the questions are heavily weighted in favour of their proposals, so be sure to make your thoughts known in the accompanying comments boxes.

Remember:  Manston Airport is designated for aviation only.  Please take this opportunity to let SHP know that their plans are not wanted nor needed.

RSP slam inaccurate SHP submission

rsp header

A report on Kent Online, which reads as a sponsored editorial, claims that Stone Hill Park’s lawyers have made a submission to the Planning Inspectorate alleging that RSP’s development consent order application is illegal.  RSP state otherwise, and have slammed the submission as inaccurate.

The allegation rests on claims that RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) has made errors in its calculation of cargo movements, contending that the application fails to meet the required criteria because “it is not able to show an increase in the cargo flight capacity of the site as an airport”.

RSP hope to deliver 17,000 cargo movements per year by its 20th year of operation.  This is in excess of the DCO criteria for 10,000 movements.

Stone Hill Park allege that the airport was closed with a capacity of 21,000 movements, and that as this exceeds the proposal by RSP, “they have got their numbers wrong” by claiming its present capacity is zero.

What Stone Hill Park (and their lawyers) don’t appear to understand is that when site owner Ann Gloag closed the airport in 2014, she rescinded the CAA licences.  Following this, major site assets were sold at auction by Peaker Pattinson, rendering the site useless for cargo-related aviation.  In addition, Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave wantonly permitted the destruction of the runway surface when it contracted Balfour Beatty and Mott MacDonald to paint markings on the runway to highlight parking spaces for lorries during Operation Stack.

Therefore, the only reasonable cargo movement capacity at Manston at this time is exactly that – ZERO!

RSP stand by the legality of their application, stating “RiverOak Strategic Partners disagrees with the basis on which Pinsent Mason has arrived at these conclusions.”

“We are confident that all of the detailed work we and our professional advisors have undertaken for the development consent order application will clearly and robustly make the case that our proposals for Manston to meet the threshold for a nationally significant infrastructure project.”

SHP want to build at least 2,500 houses on the site, but at a public inquiry into proposed change of use on the site, the Planning Inspector agreed the site must be protected for aviation use only.

UPDATED: The Great Strike Off

Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave, former owners of Discovery Park

It would appear that Trevor Cartner and Joseph (Chris) Musgrave have a better perception of their future in Kent than their spokesman, Ray Mallon. In the past few months, a number of their concerns have had applications for voluntary strike-off submitted.  Whilst not all of these are linked to Manston Airport, and the reasons for strike-off are not suggested, it would appear that they are starting to focus their attention – hopefully away from our Airport.

Strannex Ltd

This company was used as a placeholder for the ‘Stone Hill Park’ name before the Manston Airport site was handed over to the regeneration specialists.  It was listed for voluntary strike-off action last year, which was cancelled.  But now it is planned for strike-off again, of which action should complete after 18th September 2017.
Update (09/10/17):  Strannex Ltd was dissolved on 03 October 2017.


The role this company plays is unclear, but its directors are Pauline Bradley and Trevor Cartner, and its shareholding is split between Cartner and Highland and Universal Investments Ltd (Pauline Bradley and Ann Gloag).  It features in the joint venture agreement for the Flaxby Park project.  Strike-off action should complete after 13th August 2017.
Update (17/10/17): Dissolved.

Adriatic Property Ltd

We doubt this company is linked to Manston, more than likely, an attempt to start dealing in property in Eastern Europe.  Trevor Cartner and one other listed as directors, with strike-off action due to complete after 25th September 2017.
Update (10/10/17): Dissolved.

Highland Global Transport Ltd

Of interesting note is this company, which has filed for Insolvency in Scotland.  With Pauline Bradley and Ann Gloag as directors, this company is the ultimate parent for all the operation surrounding Manston Airport, holding 100% of the shares in both Manston Skyport Ltd and Highland & Universal Land Ltd.  With this in mind, the sale of these shares will inevitably now form part of a liquidation package as part of the insolvency process, so we could potentially see new proxy owners of the concern.  We wait to see what happens with this…
Update (09/10/17):  Highland Global Transport Limited have transferred their shareholding in Manston Skyport Ltd to another of Ann Gloag’s investment vehicles, Gloag Investments Group Limited.  No action has yet been reported on the shareholding in Highland & Universal Land Ltd.
Update (09/11/18): Finally dissolved.

Legacy Real Estate Ltd

This company, directed by Cartner and Musgrave, had links to the Flaxby Park joint venture agreement.  Only incorporated in 2015, it was dissolved on 2nd May 2017.

and one to keep an eye on…

Bambino Land Trust.  Not a registered company, but has visible links to both Flaxby Park and Invicta Asset Management Ltd (which is an 80% shareholder in Stone Hill Park Ltd).  Corporate land trusts are often set up, at least according to Wikipedia, “to compile large tracts of land without arousing suspicion or alerting people to their plans (which would cause the asking price to rise)”.

You can stay up to date with the Manston Airport Organogram.  All of this information is freely available in the public domain from Companies House (external link).

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

SHP Accounts Filed

Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave, former owners of Discovery Park
Accounts filed

The 2015-16 accounts for Stone Hill Park Ltd, also known as Lothian Shelf (718) Ltd have been filed with Companies House.

The accounts can be viewed in full here.

Abbreviated balance sheet (at 31 Mar 2016)
 2016 2015 
Fixed assets
Current assets
Cash at bank and in hand
Creditors: amounts falling due within one year(£1,108,329)(£2,598,085)
Net current assets£7,917,565£4,834,816
Total assets less current liabilities£7,917,865£4,834,816
Creditors: amounts falling due after more than one year(£7,000,000)(£5,000,000)
Provisions for liabilities-(£500,000)
Capital and reserves
Called up share capital
Profit and loss account
Shareholders' funds£917,865(£665,184)
Changes this year
  • The investment in the three holding name companies (Manston Park Ltd, Barnes Wallis Park Ltd and East Kent Sports Village Ltd) now represent a £300 investment and fixed asset cost for the accounting period
  • The accounts again confirm 100% ownership of the holding name companies
  • There is increased cashflow into the company this accounting period – mainly due to the income from the Department for Transport
  • Total assets less current liabilities have increased by £3,083,049 this accounting period
  • Net worth is now £917,865 (up £252,681)

Cartner & Musgrave “sell” Discovery Park

Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave, former owners of Discovery Park

Local media (Kent Online, Kent Live & Kent News) are today reporting that the owners of the Discovery Park site in Sandwich have “sold” their shareholding in the Park, in order to concentrate on their plans for Manston Airport.

Kent Online states:

“Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave are selling their shareholding in Discovery Park in Sandwich to investment company Discovery Park Estates Limited.”

Documents filed with Companies House yesterday state that Simcha Asher and Bernard Spitz have been made directors of Discovery Park Limited (DPL).  They are both directors of Discovery Park Estates Limited.  It is assumed that additional documents will be filed removing the responsibilities of Messrs Cartner and Musgrave as directors of DPL.

It is important to note that Messrs Cartner and Musgrave still hold some control of the site through their shareholding in Parkserve Ltd, the company which “manages the site on a day-to-day basis”.

Discovery Park has been widely criticised by campaigners for failing to stimulate new business at the site, rather to entice relocations of existing companies.  Whilst the owners claim 2,500 people are employed at the site, some 700 of these work for Pfizer, who were original owners of the site until 2012.

It has also come under fire for offering accomodation to Instro Precision, a company which campaigners from East Kent CAAT (Campaign Against the Arms Trade) claim is owned by Elbit Systems, whose products were used to kill people in Gaza in 2014.  Instro Precision were initially meant to be located at Manston Airport by the Discovery Park owners, stating that there was no other space suitable for them.

This latest action by Messrs Cartner and Musgrave could be seen to be deflecting future problems that Discovery Park may face, as they would hold fewer responsibilities in law as shareholders than they would as directors.

Update: 22 Nov 2016

Documents filed with Companies House on 16 November confirm that Chris Musgrave, Trevor Cartner and Ray Palmer have been de-registered as directors of Discovery Park Litd.

TDC plans “at least” 3000 homes on Manston Airport

tdc office

In a press release on 4th October 2016, TDC Leader Christopher Wells stated:

“It is with regret that I must accept the solid evidence-based report that tells me what I do not want to hear but must listen to. Manston has a glorious history but a different future”

In a move that backs up his pre-determinate comments, Thanet District Council is planning to remove a Saved Policy from the Local Plan, which is designed to protect Manston Airport for aviation use only.

An extraordinary meeting of the Overview & Scrutiny Panel is planned for Monday 21st November, in which a discussion has been placed on the Agenda for the Local Plan, and these proposals.

In the same Preferred Options Revision document, the Council state that Manston Airport is capable of providing “at least 3,000 dwellings”.  It reads like it was copy-and-pasted from Stone Hill Park’s own planning application, conveniently enough.

The reason?

TDC’s flawed report into the viability of aviation at Manston Airport by Avia Solutions.

Why is is flawed?

In a letter to TDC Chief Executive Madeline Homer, RiverOak’s DCO-leading lawyers, Bircham Dyson Bell, stated that Thanet District Council was acting “in a clandestine manner and on the basis of a report that is not robust, has not been tested or consulted upon, and indeed is wholly inaccurate, inadequate and misleading.”


In addition, and bearing in mind RiverOak is currently writing a fully-evidenced rebuttal:

  • It relies upon interviews with anonymous contributors which prevents an open and fair assessment of their contributions
  • It is authored by an organisation which is heavily involved in advising on Heathrow Airport and gives rise to a serious concern over a conflict of interest
  • It deliberately ignores all the information provided to it by RiverOak
  • It does not divulge the data or modelling on which it heavily relies, instead it asserts its conclusions without setting out its evidence, rendering it impossible for a reader to assess its conclusions
  • On cargo demand it is in direct conflict with the conclusions of (and does not even acknowledge) at least six respected studies showing considerable unmet demand/future forecasts for dedicated air freight, although it does seek to dismiss the findings of York Aviation
  • It assumes that all demand for air freight will be met by existing flights having greater loads until 2050 and that there is therefore no demand for air cargo to or from new destinations for 34 years, which is incorrect
  • It assumes that Manston would reopen in the same configuration as before given the underestimate of the considerable investment RiverOak will make, when in fact its capacity will be expanded considerably
  • Insofar as its passenger analysis is comprehensible it assumes that very little of 5m rising to 44m unallocated demand for passenger services in the south east would use Manston if it reopened
  • It assumes a turnover of 2.2m passengers would be unviable, but at least ten airports within the UK currently operate viably with fewer than 2m passengers and no significant freight component, and passenger flights are only a minor component of RiverOak’s plans

You are encouraged to contact your local councillors and express your concern about these proposals.  A full list of email addresses of TDC councillors can be found here.

News: Millions paid for Op Stack lorry park

We can announce an investigation by KM Group paper, the Thanet Extra, has discovered that Stone Hill Park have been paid at least £3.5 million of taxpayers’ money by the Department of Transport for the planned use of Manston Airport as a lorry park during Operation Stack.

Since September 2015, payments amounting to £3.539 million were made to Stone Hill Park, care of their Discovery Park address.

To date, not a single lorry has been parked at Manston Airport, apart from those that located and then collected the portaloos.

Full details can be found on Kent Online: