Monday, June 29, 2009

Manston NO SHOW

Phew what a weekend, though for me the weekend was a bit of a disappointment, since most of it was spent at work, however as a treat on Friday, I thought I would go hear what Conservative county councillor leader Paul Carter had to say about Manston, at the Kent International Airport consultative committee meeting.

Arriving a tad late for the meeting I managed to bag a seat in range of the world's noisiest air conditioning, fortunately I was able to catch the only bit of excitement of the evening which came at the start proceedings.

The chairman's preamble to the meeting, indicated from the outset, that this meeting would be nowhere near as stimulating as the last one, as the chairman started to speak, the audience predominantly made up of what Americans would call seniors, started to complain about the inability to hear the chairman which pretty much set the tone for the gathering (and later made me suspicious of their complaints re aircraft noise)

Any how to those that could hear, there was a certain amount of indignation, on the news that Paul Carter would not be in attendance, due to some family arrangement or something to that effect, I understand that it was put up to a vote, whether Mr. Carter should be reported to the standards board, and despite cllr Roger Latchford loyally speaking in defence of his fellow Tory I believe that motion was carried. (Lets just hope that it wasn’t just a case of your dinner will be ready at 7pm )

Second on the bill was Matt Clarke, Infratil's man in Manston, who I frankly feel sorry for, when faced with a bunch of belligerent elderly residents, anyway he gave a reasonable and honest assessment of the way things are, details of the massive investments they had made, and then faced questions.

As you can imagine since the room was full of people who have little more to concern themselves with other than the Manston flight path and why planes shouldn't just tiptoe around towns and villages etc then question were of a boring repetitive nature.

To be honest I felt my life forces draining, particularly listening to the well rehearsed questions from one local blogger, with the accompanying and looks round the room presumably seeking approval, which as mostly this crowd were passed working age was readily available.

I was formulating a question to ask Matt Clarke, which would have been, “are you ever tempted at meetings to say, stuff this!, instead we'll apply for planning permission for a housing estate”, however I never got to ask my question, as I was a overwhelmed with the urge to live, and decided to escape early.

It strikes me that pretty much everyone at meeting including myself was a self opinionated busy body to varying degrees, I just wonder if many have considered Manston without the Airport, what are we left with, a lost chance of economic stimulus to the area, and just a massive grisly housing estate in its place.

Coming back to Paul Carter, not attending the meeting might well be one of the smartest things he's ever done, and I for one can't blame him, basically you have a small committee, which seems to thrive on the minutest detail, latching onto any opportunity to moan about the airport's existence an audience who appear to have nothing else to worry about in life other than the occasional aircraft a few thousand feet above their heads.


  1. Not exactly small committe. I don't think I've seen a larger one what with representatives from every parish council, TDC and sundry other bods. I think there were about 15 of them there. Actually there were some younger folk there including the young woman concerned about pollution.

  2. Tony, it seems you and 'dr' moores are together in your future vision of manston as a bleak housing estate.

    Take a look at Kents own kings hill to see how things can be done.

  3. exactly smeg and if you notice Kings hill is not a nature reserve just a grubby industrial estate near the M20 with a considerable amount of KCC office wallahs and a housing estate

  4. Surely the air conditioning was there when you sat down. If you didn't like the noise you shouldn't have sat there. It's like buying a house under the flight path.

  5. Anon 8:09 you'd actually have a point if I had requested that the meeting be cancelled

  6. Tony

    I moved to Thanet to get away from the rat race that some people call progress, and I was looking forward to living in a quiet seaside town, until I learned that we have an airport. If people want to go abroad they can go by Ferry or drive to Gatwick. This is not an area for multi-national companies and I fear that a fully operational airport would encourage far too many people here competing for work. The one thing that the area does need is more affordable housing, so why not encourage property developers to build on Manson? We are in need of both private and council housing; it would also leave plenty of room for other essential developments such as a decent hospital and a prison to generate income for the local community.

  7. 10:52 Take a look around Margate "luxury" flats being built all over the place, which then get rented out to essential workers,

    Westwood cross has permission for a thousand plus homes, so dont worry about a lack of accommodation.

    I too would like to escape the rat race which in my case involves working around london, so a busy airport might just be the thing, 2 or 4 hours travel less per day flippin marvellous

  8. I have lived in Thanet all my life Manston has always been there i remember the US air force there and what they brought to the area i.e jobs and revenue so lets have more flights and all those that dont like it can move away after all if you want a quiet life why live near an airport this (Manston) hasnt suddenly appeared overnight

  9. 10:52:00

    Manston has always been here, so why on earth did you move into the area without knowing there was a functional aiport here??

    I've lived in the area all my life and the LAST thing I want nearby is a prison! Let alone MORE social housing. There's plenty, it's allready ruined Canterbury so why do it to Thanet too?

    Making Manston a decent sized workable airport that actually creates jobs in this area is the best way to go. We save our local history, which people tend to forget and build over, aswell and helping the local economy. It makes sense! Or perhaps that's just a young person's perspective?

    And before anyone moans... I actually live in the flight path of those Cargo 747's... i find it a soothing sound.

  10. "were of a boring repetitive nature."

    Great for you to say, mate, but then again your kids aren't woken up and your house may not rattle to the very core when a plane skims your roof.

    If you find these meetings boring then don't go!

  11. The Americans were here to DEFEND us not OFFEND us as Infratill do,and I remember
    many crashes of the starfighter planes killing residents,them with poor hearing that like aircraft noise and pollution should move to Heathrow.

  12. Tony, Its clear you have never been to Kings Hill. Take a look and you will find its far from a gruby industrial area. Its a successful regeneraton of a former US airport offering many many more jobs than an airport ever will.

  13. The thing about kings hill is a considerable investment has been made by KCC in choosing as always to spend our money in either Maidstone or West Kent.

    Also its location is critical 5 mins from the motorway network, and in an already wealthy area.