Sunday, 29 January 2012

Night Flight Consultation Response

It is astonishing that in the 21st century a substantial installation such as Manston Airport should continue to exist on the basis of planning loopholes. Namely, Certificates of Lawful Development (LDCs) which only establish that a certain planning use was subsisting at the time of granting the certificates. To intensify such a use over succeeding decades must surely be brought into question and subjected to open scrutiny in the form of application for planning permission.

Planning legislation states that “intensification“ can only be the grounds for a planning application if a “material change of use” can be proved.  In the case of Manston Airport the “intensification” is in the form of a night flying proposal which proposes to increase the number of flights landing between 11pm and 6 am. The stated use of such flights is to provide an opportunity for out of hours freight flights.

Passenger operations at the airfield are currently declining from the withdrawal of scheduled flights to Manchester and Belfast, followed by a withdrawal of the only remaining scheduled service at the airport, the Edinburgh route operated by FlyBe, coinciding with an announcement by Flybe that it will be ceasing operations from Manston in March 2012. With the reduction of passenger flights and an increase in freight flights, Manston Airport is changing from a commercial airport with freight services, as stated in their Master-plan and the original LDCs, to a freight airport with occasional passenger flights.  Each of these uses would fall separately into the “Sui Generis” planning use category and therefore constitute a “material change of use”.

A simple example can illustrate this fact. If a developer purchases an assembly room, normally used for the congregation of people and decides to change it into a storage warehouse for the congregation of goods, this would constitute a “material change of use” Thanet District Council is therefore within it's rights to insist on the submission of a planning application in support of the night flight proposal to examine the material change of use constituted by the intensified use of the airport for handling freight.

It is incumbent upon the local authority to take back the high ground in this planning matter at a crucial point in the evolution of Manston Airport. Unless this substantial installation which affects the lives of so many people in Thanet, is subjected to the same planning scrutiny as the normal householder, the impartiality of the local authority will always be under question.

A planning application in this matter would provide a suitable platform for the transparent examination of night flights, intensification, change of use, noise nuisance, noise monitoring, pollution, pollution monitoring, airport safety zones and the effectiveness of controlling an airport using a 106 agreement. This is what is necessary to satisfy affected local residents that their legitimate rights and concerns have been adequately considered.

Name of respondent………………………………………..


  1. I sincerly hope that when our councilors seek legal advice on these matters they do not use the same incompetant advisors that drew up the original agreement that now threatens our quality of life,Lets hope they are now long gone.

  2. Sadly, it's the same incompetent Councillors who are now in charge of the Council, so don't hold your breath.

  3. Surely, 07:14, you cannot be referring to our illustrious collection of electricians with long standing bad backs and sundry retired blue collar workers, due deference to the little lad with the degree brought up in the finest Labour traditions by his old dad, that now hold the power in the TDC chambers. Incompetent is almost complimentary in their case though they now have the Diversity Champion to advise them so that might help - tee hee!

  4. Surely, 12.21 it was you who voted them in :-)

  5. Heaven forbid, Ken, for even my underwear is blue! Mind you, my lot did not do much better though they did not negotiate the S106 agreement in the first place.

  6. Actually, Readit and 12:54, it was John Worrow who voted them in all on his little lonesome. You know, that guy who was Grey, turned Blue and is now an independent with a distinctly Pink shade.

  7. Anon 12.54 Blue underwear - too much information. My comment was not related to colours, as either side has yet to prove their worth.

    Tom, I would like them all to come out - as Independents I mean.

  8. Have always favoured the removal of politics from local government, but it is not going to happen. John Worrow may have theoretically gone independent, but in fact allowed Labour to take power and votes with them in return for a rather nebulous title.

    Noted your coming out comment. Dangerous ground, old boy, in these days isms and phobias.

  9. Half the English language would be out of bounds if the PC brigade had their way.

    There are many phrases which have passed into the English language from so called prejudiced roots, but their origins now are probably unknown to many who use them. How many times have you left a conversation and thought "Oops perhaps I shouldn't have said that".

    It doesn't make you prejudiced.

  10. Ken
    Tell that to the Diversity and PC Gestapo

  11. When you've all finished your chit chat, I'd like to say that Readit is one of a handful of people making any sense. And as I've said before Ramsgate citizens directly affected by any substantial change of use vis scheduled freight flights at night can take collective legal action against the council and Infratil for the broadly speaking ruination of their lives, places of learning, leisure etc and devaluation of their property (at least -30%)and businesses, especially hotels and hospitality.

    Anonymous (Mrs Gabriel)

  12. Thank you for that Mrs Gabriel. I would hope that TDC would see the light and regularize the situation at the airport by insisting on a planning application, thus avoiding any need for legal action.

    We live in hope