There have been many twists and turns in the tale of the bid by RSP to reopen Manston Airport as an air freight cargo hub. To follow the plot demands close attention, as an observer, and even more as a player. The Society has contributed as a member of the cast since 2017.
The Planning Inspectorate submitted its report in July 2019 recommending refusal of the DCO (Development Consent Order). The Secretary of State for Transport went against the recommendation and approved the DCO. So where are we now in 2021? Those Members monitoring these matters will be aware that, following legal challenge, on 15th February 2021 the High Court quashed the Decision of the Secretary of State to grant planning consent for the RSP proposals to re-open the former Manston Airport on the grounds that:
" In his decision letter dated 9th July 2020 the defendant (the SoS) did not give adequate and intelligible reasons to enable the reader to understand why he disagreed with the Examining Authority Report on the issue of need for the development of Manston Airport. The lack of adequate reasons in the Decision letter rendered the Secretary of States decision unlawful"
The map above is just a section of the one online that shows all 50 trees that have now been planted to mark the 50th Anniversary of the designation of the Ramsgate Conservation Area. To see the location of every tree, visit the interactive map where the plus sign will expand the map and a click on any coloured dot will reveal the tree name.
We would just ask that you visit it from time to time to check if it’s looking OK and if you have concerns – report it to us. This campaign aims to ensure that these trees remain healthy and beautiful for generations of future Ramsgate residents to enjoy! To help us fund the maintenance for the first two years while the trees establish, we would like to ask that you make a donation of £40 towards your tree’s upkeep. Your contribution will greatly assist us to finance the maintenance costs over the crucial first two years until the trees become established.
Last year the Clock House was placed on the Historic England Buildings at Risk List and, due to the Coronavirus restrictions, the building has remained closed since March 2020.
Members will be pleased to hear that the Society has been successful in obtaining a grant of £22,812 from the Historic England Heritage at Risk Response Fund to carry out some emergency repairs at the Clock House. The repairs are essential to stabilize the loose stonework around the clock tower, which is in danger of falling through the roof, and to repair the leaks in the roof that are causing damage to the interior of the building.
The initial survey, specifications and quotations for the work were prepared by Michael Foley of Standard Heritage on a pro bono basis. Mike is a Ramsgate resident and a qualified Heritage Surveyor, a member of the Ramsgate Heritage and Design Forum and a great advocate for the protection of Ramsgate's historic buildings. Following the receipt of three quotations the contractor chosen to carry out the work was Colman Contractors of Canterbury.
The work is due to commence soon and will be supervised for the Society by Simon Clark of Copperstone Consultants and Mike Foley of Standard Heritage. Mike has very generously agreed to act pro bono and Simon Clark's fee is included in the grant from Historic England.
We currently await the TDC response to the WSP Report and Consultation on the Feasibility of the Ramsgate Port and Harbour which is expected in the Spring 2021. If the Clock House is identified in that Report as a defined project then we have been told that TDC will support our proposals for a new Ramsgate Maritime Heritage Centre in a newly renovated Clock House.
Image © Francis Philips Architects from the 2016 concept document by Houghton Kneale Design Ltd for Destination Makers and The Ramsgate Society. The full document can be downloaded here.