Wednesday, 21 December 2016

access allowed

To date Riveroak have been trying to get to the starting gate so that they can take control of the former Kent International Airport. As they say talk is cheap. The list of conditions to get to the starting line is growing however one hurdle has been negotiated all be it it has taken 6 months which has put their timetable well behind.
How many remember Sir Rog announcing "planes will be flying from Manston by the end of 2016" but then he is wasted as a MP he should be a comedian.

Here is the list of outstanding requirements

1. a rebuttal to the Avia report

In October 2016 the report by AVIA, commissioned at a cost of £50K by TDC, was published. Immediately Riveroak said they would provide a full rebuttal, since then Riveroak has been strangely silent and now the AVIA report has been used to feed into the proposed Local plan which has changed the former airport to a mixed use site.

2. A public consultation
We have had a mickey mouse consultation led by airport supporters which managed to lose any feedback forms from people who think a cargo hub is wrong. But until 7 and 3 are completed there is no chance of a proper consultation.

3. An environment report
A fundamental prerequisite of a Public Consultation is a full Environmental report which should look at the affect on the people living under the flight path of a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project with at least 10000 aircraft movements a year.

4. a DCO application
Needless to say this will be the final hurdle however we are a very long way from getting the application submitted.

5. A S53 application to access the land

On the 19th of December after taking 6 months the Planning Inspectorate have granted access to the site. Needless to say the pro airport supporters are ecstatic however in their normal hectoring style Riveroak decided to apply for 24/7/365 access. In other words they wanted unfettered access to the airport for a year. Now I wonder what would be reasonable access to land you don't own, have no rights to access, and ultimately you want to legally steal from the owners?

SHP made this statement:
“The DCO process requires various surveys to be carried out on the land. As part of that process, Stone Hill Park were approached about allowing access, but were concerned at the scope of the entry to our land that RiverOak sought in pursuing this.

“We felt RiverOak’s effective request for entry to our land 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, went beyond the realm of reasonable requests and sought to ensure that if access was granted, it was under strict conditions.

“We are pleased with the conditions the Planning Inspectorate has placed on this access and as a result we will accept the decision rather than appeal.

“We are satisfied the Planning Inspectorate has performed the process with integrity and to a very high standard and now intend to assist RiverOak in accessing our site to carry out these environmental tests.

“Regardless of this decision, our view remains that an airport on this site is unviable and attempts to obtain the land by way of a Development Consent Order will fail – just as attempts to obtain it through a Compulsory Purchase Order failed.”

When asked what the conditions imposed were they said:
"Hi Barry, they predominantly deal with the times and dates that RO can access the site and what tasks can be carried out. The conditions have been shared with RO and SHP. Hopefully they will also be published on the PI website in due course."

Chris Wells responded as follows
"I have been told that section 53 access to the Manston Airport site has been granted by the Secretary of State, although as yet no formal confirmation has appeared.
"I am not surprised by this news, as the early stages of any pre application DCO process concentrate on the potential capacity of the site, to understand if what is being considered is 'a distinct project of real substance genuinely requiring entry onto the land'.
"The capacity of the potential applicant to undertake the proposed project, and its value to be assessed as a nationally significant infrastructure project, comes later. And even with the best of Christmas spirit in mind, it is within the basics of proving finance and business planning that Riveroak have, to date, been found wanting.
We shall all see how things now develop in the New Year."


6. A answer to the screenshot question from Robo King.

Bar the fact that the comment is very threatening it is also completely ridiculous. The decision made was to withdraw TDC planning's objections to the "change of use" for 4 buildings on the former airfield. This is hardly surprising as the AVIA report stated quite clearly there is no chance of a viable airport before 2031. Still there will be another opportunity to discuss the applications on the 24th January 2017 with a Public Enquiry.

7. No work with TDC on a "Statement of Community Consultation"

"Before formally consulting people living in the vicinity of the project, the developer will prepare a Statement of Community Consultation (SOCC), having first consulted relevant local authorities about what it should contain. The SOCC details the consultation the developer intends to undertake with the local community about their project. The developer is then required to carry out their consultation with the local community as set out in the SOCC.The developer is required to publish a notice stating where and when the SOCC can be inspected. If you are not satisfied with the developer’s consultation process you should inform the developer about your concerns as soon as possible and give them an opportunity to respond"

Needless to say despite running an unofficial consultation Riveroak have not been in touch with TDC planning nor indeed KCC planning to formulate their SOCC but then that is hardly surprising given as they took 6 months to gain access to Manston.  

Now there was me thinking they had the most experienced DCO team ever 

Thursday, 15 December 2016


Last night, 14th December 2016, TDC planning reversed a decision made to refuse "change of use" for 4 buildings on the Manston site.
A brief synopsis
The following planning applications were received on 23 May 2015:
- F/TH/15/0458 for the change of use from airport use to general industrial use for
Building 4, Manston Airport, Spitfire Way, Manston.
- F/TH/15/0459 for the change of use from airport use to storage and distribution
use for the Manston Airport Cargo Centre & Responding Vehicle Point, Spitfire
Way, Manston.
- F/TH/15/0460 for change of use from airport use to general industrial for a
temporary period of 3years for Building South of Terminal (Hanger 1), Manston
Airport, Manston.
- F/TH/15/0457 for the change of use of Building 870, Spitfire Way, Manston Airport
from airport use to general industrial use together with four storey extension and
insertion of windows

Members considered the planning application for the change of use of Building 870,
Spitfire Way, Manston Airport from airport use to general industrial use together with
four storey extension and insertion of windows, under reference F/TH/15/0457, and
refused the application for the following reason:
- The proposed development, by virtue of the loss of a building for aviation use,
would create the potential need for additional buildings within the countryside and
would not constitute essential airside development, contrary to Thanet Local Plan
Policies CC1 and EC4 of the Thanet Local Plan, and paragraphs 14 and 17 and
guidance within the National Planning Policy Framework.

The applicant then appealed and this appeal is due to be heard by virtue of a full public enquiry on the 24th January 2017.

Since then the Council has requested a full report on the viability of an airport being fully up and running in the foreseeable future as any policy set out in a Local Plan must be evidence based. (You know those strange things called facts not wishes, not opinions but those hard solid facts much despised by a section of the population)

So last night the Planning Committee met again in the light of the Avia Report, the recent resignation of the Planning Chair and the realisation that the position is now untenable.

In recommending the withdrawal of the opposition to the appeals, it is considered that
the Council would be acting reasonably in response to the available evidence in
forming its position on the appeals before the Planning Inspectorate.

 What would be the consequences to TDC if they failed to be reasonable?

The advice outlines is that if officers’ professional or technical advice is not
followed, authorities will need to show reasonable planning grounds for
taking a contrary decision and produce relevant evidence on appeal to
support the decision in all respects. If they fail to do so, costs may be
awarded against the authority. In this case, officers and counsel consider
that the Council cannot substantiate the reason for refusal for the change
of use of these specific buildings, given the new evidence before the
Council and the direction of Council policy for the site within the draft local
plan. For this reason if the reason for refusal on each appeal is not
withdrawn officers consider there is a substantial risk of significant costs
being awarded against the Council by the Planning Inspectorate.
There are no funds allocated for any potential fines meaning that that any
decision other than that recommended will result in spend that is outside
of the budgetary framework.

To put the other side would there be any financial consequences to SMAa if they bullied TDC planning into carrying on the refusal to grant "change of use"?


Was this predetermination
To listen to the ostriches in the Save Manston Airport Association (SMAa) it is all a conspiracy and a stitch up by Chris Wells.

This is a sample of how wild and wacky their collective minds work and I do hope that UKIP councillors have their bodyguards well paid. However a brief look at the facts will show there is no conspiracy and no attempt to subvert the will of the electorate. In fact the one constant since 2014 is the repeated failure of Riveroak to adhere to their side of the pact with SMAa.

Where have Riveroak failed

2014 Just prior to the final closure of the site Freudmann (along with Riveroak in tow) approached Ann Gloag and offered (allegedly £7M) the "full asking price" however Ann Gloag refused mainly because Freudmann wnated the £2M in the Manston Skyport bank account. (there may be other reasons but I couldn't possible comment on someone else's business acumen.
Riveroak then failed to convince TDC (under Labour control) they had the money to support TDC in a CPO.
2015 we have a change of leadership at TDC and UKIP allowed RO to try again however once again RO fail to deliver. (No proof of money and no viable plan)
No other viable business comes forward to partner TDC in returning Manston to an airport and RO decide to see if they can blag the National Planning Inspectorate in allowing a Development Consent Order. Yet even here, now into 2016, they fail as they are advised not to start formal consultations until they have applied yet they set up unofficial ones manned by SMAa personnel where people opposed to a freight hub are intimidated and questionnaires mysteriously disappear.
Now late in 2016 they are asking the landowners for permission to access the land to conduct assessments which have been rebuffed. Turning to the PI to order access they have failed to even answer basic questions on their application.
We have a report, requested by TDC for policy SP05 (use of land at Manston), The Avia Report which determined that even if all their ducks line up in a row Manston cannot be viable before 2031. This report was released on the 4th October 2016 and immediately Riveroak issued a stern letter to TDC saying the report was flawed and they would issue a formal rebuttal. Again they fail as it is now the 15th December, the report has been used to overturn the denied planning permissions and has changed the new Local Plan.

So SMAa instead of vilifying UKIP turn your anger onto the fools at Riveroak who have yet to prove they are worth anymore than $1.6M with a credit line of $400K.

Of course this has been predetermined, it is call geography, as no commercial aviation business has turned a profit since the RAF left Manston. In fact how can it when the pool of customers is so small and the cost of running an aviation is so expensive. Wake up and smell the coffee

Having spoken with a few UKIP Councillors it is clear they do want Manston as a viable airport, despite what you fools think, yet wishes and dreams cannot survive in the cold, hard relity of a commercial venture. Riveroak are chancers and Freudmann is a "snake oil salesman" who are playing with your dreams.
The current rumour doing the rounds is that Riveroak has approached the owners asking how much the owners would pay RO to go away.
I also hear that they have told the PI they now do not need to access the land to do their Environmental Assessments, as they have enough information to complete that side of their application.
So to those fools leading the vile and nasty campaign to bully the rest of Thanet into accepting the failed organisation called Riveroak keep going but your time is growing short oh and keep buying that tinfoil you really need it

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Down the pub

Yet again the propaganda war rears its ugly head. When will people learn to do their own research. The latest from a "discussion" down the pub.

Riveroak own Canary Wharf

This old chestnut keeps coming up yet despite it being proven wrong it keeps coming back.

"Riveroak's CEO is Stephen DeNardo is an independent director of Brookfield Property Partners based in the West Indies who with a Quatari consortium forced a buyout of Canary Wharf. He isn't the Chief Financial Officer but is the Chair of the Audit Committee and as Brookfield is listed on the New York Stock Exchange they have to abide by their rules."

So in plain English Steve DeNardo is there because without an auditor Brookfield Property Partner's wouldn't be able to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. He has NO say in the running of Brookfield. He doesn't make investment decisions and therefore doesn't own Canary Wharf.

They have 300 million quid available now

I nearly fell off my chair laughing when I read this. Why oh why are some people so gullible.
Let's look at some facts.
They rent a couple of rooms in this building
They must be very frugal if they have £300M available right now and bearing in mind their business model (They are a real estate investment company) which is to buy "distressed assets", add value and sell on. To do this they advertise for investors, collect in the money, Buy and then improve. Whilst improving the asset they pay good interest rates which reflect the risk for the investors. In 2014 when they provided figures to TDC their net asset value was $1.6M, with a credit line of $400K.
read here

There are 27 Freight Operators ready to fly here

If they offered free landing fees and special inducements possibly but then if they borrow £300M to finance the airport they will have to pay their investors around £30M a year in interest which quite frankly is ludicrous to believe both are possible at the same time.
Quite frankly no one is queuing up to fly into Manston but a desperate campaign needs some straws to grab onto.

Ryanair, Aer Lingus and KLM are wanting to fly from Manston

With the right inducements I'm sure they will come but some facts.
1. Planestation failed dismally taking a lot of money with it and who set up Planestation yes you guessed it Tony Freudmann.
"Planestation has been one of the most woeful ventures ever to grace the London Stock Exchange. Over the past ten years the group, previously known as Wiggins, has raised more money, north of around £115 million than its actual market valuation. With this cash it built up an international chain of seven (hitherto largely dormant) airports and an assortment of property interests and assets in the UK. Apart from property disposals, it has generated little in the way of revenues, milked its investor base for all they were worth and produced gargantuan annual losses".
2. KCC lost money in Planestation and they lost money when they tried to underwrite a service to  Virginia (2006 – KCC invests £289,000 in Freudmann’s Manston to Virginia plan. Not a single plane takes off.)
3. KLM were paid an inducement to provide a service from Manston to Schipol by KCC (said to be £680K). During their operating period they achieved a 50% occupancy rate. So without the inducement it is doubtful they would have made a profit and how long the service would have lasted is anyone's guess but what is clear is every passenger service from Manston has failed dismally.
Is it any surprise that Manston doesn't succeed when you look at what other airports offer. Geographically Manston cannot succeed as it is surrounded on 3 sides by sea.

So if passengers cannot work why should freight succeed when dedicated freight services can fly an extra 10 minutes to land in the Geographical centre of the UK surrounded by motorways where most destinations in the UK are only 4 hours away.

After the split of SMA "Save Manston Airport" Campaign and Beau Webber and his merry men set up their own group SMAa they have gained 2000+ members however looking through the membership it is surprising how many Countries take an "interest" in this tiny corner of Kent. So can anyone from the group explain just why 10 Japanese nationals are members, why there are Chinese, Americans and various other nationalities are member. Suspicious people might be forgiven for thinking membership is somewhat padded out, just like the number of people turning up at rally's.