RSP confirm Herne Bay consultation scale

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Following a request from Canterbury City Council, RiverOak Strategic Partners has set out the full extent of the publicity outreach campaign in Herne Bay surrounding the January 2018 public consultation exercise.

Consultation postcards were delivered by hand to over 50,000 properties, including all those in Herne Bay, Ramsgate and surrounding areas, between 6 and 13 January 2018 (Herne Bay deliveries being between 6 and 8 January), in line with commitments made in the Statement of Community Consultation.

In addition, details about the consultation events were publicised widely on Facebook and Twitter as well as emailed to more than 2,000 people who have registered for updates from RiverOak Strategic Partners.  Press releases were published on the RSP website and sent to local media, with articles appearing both in print and online.  Adverts also appeared in local newspapers publicising both the Herne Bay and Ramsgate events, as is required by the DCO process.

More than 300 people attended the subsequent Herne Bay consultation event, on 24 January 2018, and an analysis, which has been provided to Canterbury Council, shows a spread of attendees from neighbourhoods across Herne Bay and surrounding areas, suggesting the consultation was widely known about and that the postcards and other publicity methods used were successful in communicating the details of the consultation events.  Over 500 people attended the Ramsgate consultation event the previous day and, in total, over 1,300 responses were received to the consultation.

Added to the 2,100 responses received to the 2017 statutory consultation and 800 to the 2016 non-statutory consultation means that 4,200 consultation responses have been considered and analysed in developing the DCO application.


Nearly 900 attend latest RSP consultations


Despite some appalling weather, 870 people attended the two most recent RiverOak consultation events, in Ramsgate and Herne Bay, to review its refined plans for Manston Airport and speak with some of the firm’s environmental and planning experts, as well as the RiverOak team, about a wide range of issues – including a proposed Noise Mitigation plan, fully developed Preliminary Environmental Information Report and amended masterplan for the airport.

Director of RiverOak Strategic Partners, George Yerrall said: “It’s been a fantastic couple of days – both because we have met with some of the airport’s many supporters and been able to show them in more detail our proposals, but also we’ve been able to address some of the questions local people have about our proposals.”

“The consultation remains open until 16 February 2018 so there is still plenty of time for members of the community and local organisations to submit feedback.  Copies of all consultation documents are available online, there are copies of the documents and feedback forms in eleven local libraries (four of which hold complete copies of the 2,000-page Preliminary Environmental Information Report – Margate, Deal, Herne Bay and Ramsgate) and a feedback form online too – all at”

RiverOak announce 2018 consultation events


RiverOak has published details of a further public consultation, on proposals to reopen Manston Airport, in a Statement of Community Consultation.  The consultation will be held from Friday 12 January to Friday 16 February 2018 and will include two events, as follows:

  • The Comfort Inn, Ramsgate – Tuesday 23 January (12pm-8pm)
  • The King’s Hall, Herne Bay – Wednesday 24 January (12pm-8pm)

These events are open to any member of the public that would like to attend and further details of the locations, local public transport services and other information can be found in the Statement of Community Consultation which can be downloaded from

Copies of consultation documents will be available from 12 January at and at the following public libraries during their normal opening hours: Birchington, Broadstairs, Cliftonville, Deal, Herne Bay, Margate, Minster-in-Thanet, Newington, Ramsgate, Sandwich and Westgate. As the full Preliminary Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) is a very large document, it will only be available in hard copy at Deal, Ramsgate and Margate libraries, although it will be available in electronic form at all libraries.  A non-technical summary will be available at all libraries, at the two consultation events, and on the RSP website.

You can view the Statement of Statutory Consultation here.

UPDATE: RSP delay DCO application to consult more


RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP), the company planning to return aviation to Manston Airport by means of a development consent order (DCO) have announced they will delay their application to allow for more consultation to take place.

RSP is to give the public a further chance to comment on its proposals to reopen Manston Airport as a cargo-based hub, before making an application to the Secretary of State for Transport for a Development Consent Order in the New Year.

George Yerrall said:

“We have been busy considering the 2,200 responses received to the consultation that took place in June and July 2017, which followed the non-statutory consultation in June 2016, and at the same time our plans have undergone further development. We are also taking the opportunity to update our environmental assessment in line with the latest EU Directive, in respect of which we will also welcome comments.”

The consultation document will set out:

  • a proposed noise mitigation plan – namely the specific commitments they propose to make to minimise aircraft noise impacts;
  • the new areas of environmental assessment and where these can be found in the updated preliminary environmental information; and
  • the details of where the plans have become more developed since the consultation in June/July 2017.

Responses will be particularly sought on all these matters, but all previous responses will continue to be considered and new responses can be made on any aspect of the project.

RSP plan to hold another round of consultation events in Ramsgate and Herne Bay during January 2018, but anyone is welcome to respond to the consultation whether they attend an event or not.  Further consultation events will be held later in 2018 as part of the air space change proposal that RSP will be submitting to the CAA.

The MP for Thanet North, Sir Roger Gale, said:

“It is important, I think, that those opposed to the re-opening of Manston Airport are given every opportunity to appreciate the difference between the environmental impact assessments carried out by RiverOak and what I believe to be the cavalier attitude towards the environmental damage that would be caused by a massive housing and industrial estate proposed by others.


More haste can sometimes lead to less speed and it is essential that genuine, if misplaced, concerns are, insofar as is possible, allayed.”

UPDATE (07/12/17):

Following the recent announcement that RiverOak Strategic Partners will be offering the public an opportunity to comment on its now fully-developed proposals for Manston Airport, prior to submitting the Development Consent Order application, RSP can now confirm the dates and venues for consultation events will be as follows:

23 January: Comfort Inn, Ramsgate 14:00-20:00

24 January: The Kings Hall, Herne Bay 14:00-20:00

In the press:

Come in, your time is up!


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.

SMAa Analysis: RiverOak pre-Consultation Results

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Save Manston Airport association Analysis

RiverOak release the results of their pre-Consultation with Thanet and Kent about Manston Airport.

RiverOak are working with the National Planners to prepare a Development Consent Order (DCO), so as to present a plan to raise Manston Airport to be an airport of national stature.

In July RiverOak held a (non-statutory) pre-consultation exercise with the people of Thanet and Kent to find their views about re-opening Manston Airport and developing it to be a Nationally Significant airport.

As well as holding six roadshow events, across Thanet and East Kent (Broadstairs, Margate, Herne Bay, Canterbury, Sandwich and Ramsgate), to enable local people to learn more about their preliminary proposals, RiverOak distributed, and their lawyers collected and analysed  booklets with questionnaires. “More than 800 responses were received by Bircham Dyson Bell, lawyers for RiverOak Investments, following the informal consultation events held in July. Of these, 332 were handed in during the six consultation events, 268 were emailed and a further 222 hard copies were posted.”

With a closing date of 5th September, all these documents have now been analysed by RiverOak’s DCO lawyers Bircham Dyson Bell, and a summary released on their web-site :

Kent and Thanet want Manston Airport back open

The most significant conclusion is that 90% of respondents approve of RiverOaks proposals, and want Manston Airport to re-open for aviation use.

Now this is completely in line with previous polls, district elections, local plan responses and TDC Council votes, that have been collated by Save Manston Airport association, where the figures have ranged from over 80% to over 90% in favour of Manston Airport reopening :

Evidence of mass support” – Letter to the Editor, Isle of Thanet Gazette, Friday May 20th, 2016. : ▼ Polling & Membership

However the number of respondents in this RiverOak pre-Consultation and the directness of these questions asked makes this pre-Consultation a far more definitive exercise.

Specific requests by the people of Kent and Thanet

The really important point of the exercise, however, was to go to the people of Kent and Thanet, so as to find out what they actually wanted with regard to Manston Airport, rather than just present them with a take-it or leave-it plan at the Autumn statutory DCO Consultation. A number of important conclusion are noted in this report, many on subjects raised by SMAa and their members, including :

  • Preservation and location of Manston RAF, Spitfire &Hurricane Museums.
  • Placement and orientation of new hangars so as to preserve views from RAF Manston and Spitfire & Hurricane Museums to the runway.
  • Discussions regarding number, orientation and timings of flights.
  • Importance and number of new jobs for local people as a result of Manston Airport opening.
  • Impact of Manston Airport on education, training, and apprenticeships.

RiverOak say :  “High on the wish list for Manston were the inclusion of passenger services, a flying school, viewing area and a requirement for employment at the airport to be drawn from the local community. Of concern, quite naturally, are environmental issues such as night flights (although only amongst 9% of respondents), noise (8%) and air pollution and the flight path, both raised by 2% of respondents.”

Main Conclusion

It is fascinating to hear the true voice of the people of Kent and Thanet, to hear what they really do want for Manston Airport. SMAa asked: are they asking for many thousands of new houses in addition to those required for Thanet by the Government? No, overwhelmingly they are asking for a working airport of national stature, with high grade jobs.

Dr. Beau Webber (Chairman)
Save Manston Airport association

Consultation: Overwhelming support for DCO proposals

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From RiverOak website:

90% of local people who took part in the recent informal consultation by RiverOak Investments support proposals for reviving Manston Airport as an airfreight hub with complementary passenger and engineering services. A further 8% of respondents said they opposed the plans and 2% are not yet sure.

More than 800 responses were received by Bircham Dyson Bell, lawyers for RiverOak Investments, following the informal consultation events held in July. Of these, 332 were handed in during the six consultation events, 268 were emailed and a further 222 hard copies were posted.

Support amongst consultees from Margate and Broadstairs was the highest at 98% and 94% respectively. However, support was also high amongst those from Ramsgate and Herne Bay with 82% and 86% of respondents, respectively, in favour of the proposals.

High on the wish list for Manston were the inclusion of passenger services, a flying school, viewing area and a requirement for employment at the airport to be drawn from the local community. Of concern, quite naturally, are environmental issues such as night flights (although only amongst 9% of respondents), noise (8%) and air pollution and the flight path, both raised by 2% of respondents.

All of this feedback is being factored into the development of RiverOak’s detailed proposals for Manston which will be published for formal consultation along with preliminary environmental information (PEI). The environmental matters raised, in particular, will be subject to rigorous examination as part of the field work for this.

George Yerrall of RiverOak Investments said: “We are really encouraged to see so much support for the airport and to get a sense of the issues of most importance to local people. Before the statutory consultation exercise starts, we will respond directly to everyone who has taken the time to submit a response and has provided contact details, although all responses will be taken into account.  We will also publish the information we provide to respondents on our website.

“However, we need the preliminary environmental information (PEI) work to be completed before we are able to respond on many of the matters raised. We have applied to the Planning Inspectorate for powers to enter the site for environmental surveying purposes, as the owners have not yet agreed to let us do so voluntarily.

“Given the delays we have experienced in accessing the site it looks increasingly as though this second, statutory consultation will now take place early in the new year, with our full application to PINS likely to follow in the second quarter of 2017.