Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Thanet Labour Disqualified from Taking Part in Manston Night Flight Decision?

I was disappointed to read in today's Thanet Times the news that the Labour Group has predetermined its position by coming out against any night flying from Manston airport.

As this is a planning-related matter, I suspect, that they will have precluded themselves from taking part in any future debate that might decide the night-time flying policy from Manston.

The council's position on the matter was clearly explained in its press release yesterday and indicated that Thanet District Council continues to have a  measured and open-minded approach to this very important and complex issue.


Steve Higgins said...

Hello DrM

So are you now saying that the airport is going to be finally subjected to a planning application?

Can you confirm that the process you were going through up and until yesterday was not planning?

Your answers here will have potential repercussions on two recent press releases.

Mr. Earplugs said...

My understanding is that Manston Airport does not have planning permission, having been granted 'change of use' when transferred from military to civilian use. This is apparently why the S106 is effectively unenforceable - there is no linkage to any planning application or permission, so there are no sanctions.

If this is the case, then there can be no bar on publicly stating a position for or against. Or is TDC now treating the future operation of the airport as a planning application?

Bluenote said...

Publicly stating a position on the airport before all the facts are revealed may be OK for members of the public but not, I would suggest, for our political representatives. Surely they have a duty to consider the whole issue, when all submissions and research are finalised, and then decide in the interests of the majority of the people they represent.

Whereas I would say most people, as with all things, could not care less one way or the other, there seems to be a majority of the rest, I speak with, that support the airport or are prepared to give it a chance.

The Labour group, it would seem, have gone with the vociferous minority long before all the information is available to them.

Whether it is a planning matter or not is a red herring. Prejudging is not something I expect from my ward Councillor.

Michael Child said...

Simon have I missed something here, the article you have linked to seems to be saying that the leader of the council has rejected the plans and the last time I looked he was Conservative?

My understanding was that Infratil applied for night flights but the documentation the submitted to support this application was incomprehensible.

I understand this application, the one that was rejected rejected, was sent back by the council to Infratil for revision because the council officers and their specialist advisors couldn’t understand it either.

As you know I have some background in physics and I couldn’t understand it, it seemed to be based on a series of measurements that hadn’t actually been taken.

Infratil said that the monitoring equipment that was supposed to measure the noise in Ramsgate was actually broken, so no measurements were taken, meaning they produced a series of sound contoured maps with no reference points.
Also there was the jobs statistics graph which seemed to be based on 100 x 2 = 200 but 1,000 x 2 = 5,000 there was no explanation for this, at this point I gave up.

Anonymous said...

Looks as if the council have said that infratil need a better plan before anything else happens.

"Bob Bayford and Chief Executive Richard Samuel met with the airport’s CEO Charles Buchanan on Monday 1 November. The airport agreed to revise the detail contained within the proposal. The council will not open any public consultation until this has been received."

Anonymous said...

What a load of tosh. The 106 was never attached to a planning application and the night-flight application is a clause in the 106. You can't have it both ways. If it's a planning application it has to go through the planning process. If it's just some wooly consultation, people and Councillors are free to say what they like.

Anonymous said...

What Clive Hart says throws the baby out with the bathwater without giving the airport a chance to revise it as the council have.

"Whilst we are rejecting this application we are equally adamant that both monitoring of operations and updating of all the section 106 is also vital."

Plane Bored!

Anonymous said...

The Council isn't supposed to be giving Infratil "a chance to revise it." The figures in the night-flight application are based on the airport's Master Plan. You can't change the figures without altering the Master Plan, and if those bits of the Master Plan are wrong we have to ask what other bits might need changing. Perhaps the jobs figures are all up the spout as well?

As far as I can tell, it's being given back to Infratil for "clarification" of specific points. If it comes back with significant changes there will be questions to ask.

Cllr. Mike Harrison said...

The current application is NOT being treated as a planning application so therefore the rules on predetermination do not apply. We have only rejected the CURRENT application. If a further one is submitted we will consider that on its merits at the time.

John Kirby said...

The rush to ingratiate themselves with the lobbyists against the Manston Plan has I think back fired quite spectacularly for the Labour group under clive Hart's leadership and David green's totally blinkered approach to this subject. Green's use of his position as Mayor is wrong - it used to be an accepted formality that the Mayor did not get involved in Political Disputes but obviously that is an outdated courtesy unrecognised to him. I was brought up to realise there are two sides to every argument but those who shout the loudest do not always have the full facts and should wait until they are available. This TDC is doing and will have a full consultation when all sides of this matter can be fully and fairly discussed

DrM. said...

Mike, my understanding of the S106 is that any substantive change to the existing policy requires approval in council and gives reason for a consultation process to support it.

Clearly, if I'm wrong in this impression, I'm sure that officers will correct me.

This aside, I would be reluctant to see any political group establish a firm position on the subject before the proper process is concluded.

John Kirby said...

As usual there is no defining answer from Clive Hart to bob Bayfords open letter - the words Yes or No are not in his vocabulary- we are far from a decision on this - but for the Labour group to come out en bloc a day or so after a Public Meeting in Ramsgate to express their view in a negative way shows their self serving Political Interest - just for themselves with a few local headlines - months before any decision can be taken - I do believe they have shot themselves in the foot and elsewhere with this rushed approach to a very important economic and social decision.