RiverOak submits plans to reopen Manston as an airfreight hub

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Manston Airport before it was closed in 2014

RiverOak Strategic Partners has submitted 11,000 pages of proposals and plans to the Planning Inspectorate with the intention of reopening Manston Airport as an airfreight hub.

Manston Airport, located in the Thanet district of Kent has been closed since 15 May 2014.

Since then RiverOak has been working on reopening the airport, initially intending to act as the indemnity partner for Thanet District Council to pursue a compulsory purchase order, but is now pursuing a Development Consent Order.

The Development Consent Order application includes a full Environmental Statement, a four volume Economic Assessment, detailed plans and drawings of all aspects of the proposals and a full report on the one non-statutory and two statutory consultation exercises, undertaken across 2016, 2017 and 2018, to which over 4,200 responses were received.

Copies of the application were despatched by courier to the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol, marking the start of the ‘Acceptance’ stage, which will be followed by a period of up to 28 days for the Planning Inspectorate, on behalf of the Secretary of State to decide whether or not the application meets the standards required to be accepted for examination.

RiverOak Strategic Partners director, George Yerrall says this is an important moment for the company and the people of Thanet and East Kent.

He says: “We must now wait for the Inspectorate’s decision as to whether we proceed to the examination stage of the DCO process. We have certainly endeavoured to do everything we can to deliver a grounded, detailed and evidence-based application that will meet PINS’ requirements, and I therefore hope and expect that today will mark the start of the next phase of our commitment to reopening Manston Airport and, in doing so, help to deliver the employment and prosperity for East Kent that it so richly deserves.”

The plan is to reopen Manston with a focus on airfreight with complementary passenger and general aviation services.