Secretary of State Grants Access to Airport – MP`s Comments - 20th December 2016
North Thanet`s MP, Sir Roger Gale, has welcomed the confirmation, now formally issued by RiverOak (See below) that the Secretary of State has accepted an application, recommended by the Planning Inspectorate, by RiverOak for access to Manston Airport to complete environmental survey work prior to the Company`s submission of a Development Consent Order.
Speaking following the announcement (The SoS decision was made known to interested parties yesterday) Sir Roger has said:
It is significant that the Planning Inspectorate and the Secretary of State have accepted the arguments put forward by RiverOak and has rejected the arguments put forward by those currently in control of the site and who have consistently sought to deny access.
The Secretary of State has, through this decision, recognized RiverOak as a player in the future of Manston and has also acknowledged the importance and significance of the campaign to retain Manston as an operational airfield.
The decision was, of course, also taken in the knowledge of the existence of the now widely-discredited Avia Solution report upon which Cllr. Wells and his councilors have sought to hang their volte-face upon the future of Manston.
There is still a great deal of work still to be done before a DCO submission is made and that submission, which will contain not only the Environmental Impact Assessment but a full Business Case, will then have to be the subject of a public inquiry, Inspectors` report and ultimately a decision by the Secretary of State for transport.
Nevertheless, I am comfortable that this administration, as did David Cameron`s, understands the importance of preserving structural assets in the national interest.
It is time, I think, that those at present in control of the site and of Thanet District Council took that on board.”