The application for the reopening and upgrade of Manston Airport has been accepted for examination.
Announced by the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government, the decision follows a Development consent Order application earlier this year by RiverOak Strategic Partners who want to open the Kent airport as an air freight hub with complementary passenger and general aviation services.
The plans would make Manston primarily a cargo airport, with the capacity of at least 12,000 air cargo movements ever year.
Sarah Richards, Chief Executive at the Planning Inspectorate, has explained the decision that has been made and what happens next.
She 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 whether 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.”
At the time of the original application, George Yerrall, Director of RiverOak Strategic Partners, said: “This is a hugely important moment for us, but I also recognise that it is a significant moment for many people across Thanet and East Kent too.”
Applications accepted for examination are done so after the Planning Inspectorate has to take into account the documents submitted; the adequacy of consultation representations from local authorities; the extent to which the developer has regard to any guidance that may or may not have been issued.
The applicant should now invite people interested in the proposal to register with the Planning Inspectorate.