In July 2017 the Ramsgate Society and The Ramsgate Heritage and Design Forum made a joint response to the RSP consultation on their proposal to apply for a Development Consent Order as part of their plan to acquire the Manston Airport site.
In that response we listed a number of concerns but focused mainly on the viability of their business case, and a review of the environmental impact the operation of an international fright hub would have on the town.
RSP undertook a second consultation exercise earlier in February 2018. In our response this time we concentrated on the impact of their proposals on the following:
- An overview of the documentation supporting the current consultation exercise.
- The impact of RSP’s plans on the historic and special heritage character of Ramsgate.
- The impact of RSP’s plans on the health and well-being of Ramsgate residents
- A review of the case for a National Strategic Infrastructure Project (NSIP).
The consultants acting for RSP reported significant and adverse noise consequences of RSP’s plans for Ramsgate. The following statement draws attention to the seriousness of that impact :
“significant adverse (noise) effects have been identified at the communities of Ramsgate, Pegwell Bay and Manston as a result of the Proposed Development. The effect would be characterised as a perceived change in quality of life for occupants of buildings in these communities or a perceived change in the acoustic character of shared open spaces within these communities during the day and night time.”
(para 12.9.68 Chapter 12 of Volume II of the PEIR)
Our conclusions were as follows:
- The omission of any consideration in the Preliminary Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) of the historic and heritage special character of Ramsgate was untenable. A proper assessment of the impact on the town of Ramsgate was in effect “scoped out” of the report. We urge the Planning Inspectorate to insist on a new scoping exercise for the assessment of these impacts ensure the consultant’s analysis is extended to take Ramsgate’s historic character fully into account.
- The consultation arrangements, in particular the publication of just short of 4000 pages of text, tables and figures, did not accord with guidance issued by the Government and will need to be repeated
- We continue to be unconvinced by the business case underpinning RSP’s Air Traffic Movements forecasts and believe the case for the proposals to be considered as a National Strategic Infrastructure Project (NSIP) and for a Development Consent Order (DCO) application remains unjustified.