Congratulations to Herne Bay for a clear-cut response to the night flight proposals - "No thank you!".
If you have never heard of Peter Vickery-Jones, he is a Herne Bay councillor and holder of the Transport Portfolio for Canterbury City Council. In this article he complains that "Local activists have criticised this council for failing to respond to Manston's proposals". Unthinkable!
Anyone familiar with the process would know that CCC (themselves only a consultee) had committed themselves to assessing the responses from within the District before presenting their own response to TDC. Mind you, it would have been nice if the councillor had gone along to the KIACC meeting after the night flights proposal was published - as it was, Canterbury District wasn't represented.
Another opportunity we missed out on was Manston's consultation on flight paths and holding patterns - Canterbury Council were an official consultee, and got a nudging reminder email just before the end of the 14 week process. Unfortunately, it seems nobody cared enough about what happens in Canterbury's airspace to send in a response.
Plans for night flights from Manston have been shot down by residents in Herne Bay who have rejected the proposal in a consultation organised by the city council. Around 230 people responded to the survey, the vast majority complaining about the potential for noise and disturbance and overstated economic benefits.
Now the city council has sent a formal objection to Thanet District Council after members of the executive agreed last week that the proposals by the airport operator Infratil were unacceptable. Cllr Peter Vickery-Jones told members:
"Local activists have criticised this council for failing to respond to Manston's proposals but this is the first opportunity we have had. It’s not our fault because we have had to await the results of our consultation. If night flights are not good for Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, then why Manston?"
The executive agreed to support the continued role of Manston in the "economic well being" of east Kent but believed the adverse impact on residents of night flying was not justified.
HB Gazette 5th April 2012
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