Ramsgate Town Council has criticised plans to reopen and upgrade Manston Airport in Kent.
The counci has expressed concern about how proposals from RiverOak Strategic Partners, would impact on the local economy, infrastructure and social cohesion.
The council also expressed doubts about how the airport would affect local employment during the period between the granting of a development consent order and the implementation of a fully functioning airport.
The council said: “Tourism, retail and hospitality are the sectors most likely to be affected by the resumption of commercial aviation as any likely flight path will cover the harbour frontage and commercial areas of Ramsgate.
“These sectors are also most reliant on outside private investment for their start up and ongoing financial sustenance. A possible investor in business in Ramsgate is likely to consider whether that business will be successful if it is located within reasonable proximity to a flight path.”
The council added: “The current highway infrastructure will be inadequate for any expanded aviation activity.
“The current network is already subject to peak time congestion and the level of road traffic accidents are concerning.”
The council’s intervention come after Natural England and the Met Office both raised their concerns about the plans.
While Natural England expressed concerns during the public consultation period, the Met Office is worried about being displaced from the weather station located on the airport site.
RiverOak Strategic Partners’ planning application was accepted for examination by housing secretary James Brokenshire in August last year.
Earlier this month, the preliminary meeting for the development consent order application for the reopening and upgrading of the airport took place in Margate, with the examination of RiverOak Strategic Partners’ proposals by the Planning Inspectorate beginning on the following day – a process which is to last six months.
In a statement, RiverOak Strategic Partners said: “We continue to plan for the reopening of the airport. Following the acquisition of the Jentex site on Canterbury Road West in Ramsgate, which is designated as the location of the airport fuel facility, we are meeting with a wide range of other potential partners and stakeholders across Thanet and East Kent.
“Our aim is to answer questions people and organisations have about our proposals and explore opportunities to develop partnerships that will bring additional benefits to local people from our commitment to reopening the airport.”
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