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Reopening of Kent airport passes first planning stage

Marston airport

The government is set to rule on the reopening and upgrade of Manston Airport in Kent.

RiverOak Strategic Partners planning application to increase the capacity has been accepted for examination by the secretary for state for housing.

The application is for the upgrade and reopening of the airport primarily as a cargo airport, with some passenger services, with a capacity of at least 12,000 air cargo movements per year.

Planning Inspectorate chief executive Sarah Richards said: “After careful consideration we have decided on behalf of the Secretary of State that the application submitted by RiverOak Strategic Partners Ltd met the required tests set out in the legislation to be accepted for examination.

“The decision has been made within the statutory deadline. It demonstrates our ability to deliver a predictable, fair and efficient examination process that provides certainty for everyone involved.

“The applicant must now decide and publicise when members of the public can play a part in the examination process by registering with the Planning Inspectorate as an interested party to give their views.”

The Airport was closed in May 2014 by previous owners Infratril who themselves bought the Airport for £1 a year earlier. 

The application will now go through a pre-examination and then an examination stage before a decision on whether to grant the order is made.

The current application was submitted in July, after RiverOak pulled the plug on its initial proposal after the Planning Inspectorate deemed it unsatisfactory.

The Planning Inspectorate said it was concerned about the lack of information about whether the development constituted a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) and the adequacy of the Transport Assessment and the Funding Statement. 

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