Ramsgate and Herne Bay residents are not amused. Once again, Riveroak Strategic Partners (RSP) have failed to notify residents who would be directly impacted by their plans of their latest round of consultation.
No Night Flights have had residents asking only in the last two days about where they can attend a consultation event only to be told – ‘sorry, you’ve missed it’. We know from people who attended the consultation that when they complained to RSP staff about not being notified the usual response was ‘well, you’re here aren’t you, so you must have been notified’.
People have been telling us in the last few days that at both the Ramsgate and Herne Bay consultations they were told contradictory things by RSP. Many were told 8 night flights a night were a ‘worst case scenario’, some were told that it would depend on ‘what was needed’, some were told ‘we don’t know’ and one airport supporter claims that they were told it would be 8 night flights a month! One resident says they were told that there would be no flights most nights but maybe 2 or 3 on other nights. That there would be 33 flights during the day over 16 hours in the first year of operation. Another was told most nights no night flights but up to 8 on some nights. Clear? Residents, rightly concerned, are left confused and certainly none the wiser.
In terms of jobs too, we were disappointed to see that despite complaints last year, RSP still have on their boards ” 30,000 jobs in East Kent and the wider economy”. Sally Dixon is at pains to point out that in her reports she makes it clear that these are not local jobs but national jobs. Yet most people won’t wade through the huge amount of documentation – they will literally read the headlines and will assume that the wider economy is still relatively local if not actually local. One resident told us they heard someone asking “where will all the houses go to house the people in the 30,000 jobs locally?” which just shows that people think these are local jobs.
The consultation runs until February 16th so make sure you have your say. Visit RSP’s site for information on how to respond. The documentation is heavy going but it is important to try and read what you can. In particular, RSP need to let us know how they intend to undertake a full and proper Environmental Impact Assessment under the new regulations. This means we should know exactly how they intend to mitigate against noise, impact on our health, damage to our local environment, damage to our heritage assets and so on. Send them your questions. Send them your concerns. You need to make it clear that with all the documentation, with the consultation (which you may not have been aware of or attended), you are still completely in the dark as to how this would really affect you.
We want to alert all residents to the threat especially now that RSP have come clean about their intentions regarding scheduled night flights. In the past, you’ve helped us raise thousands of pounds which has helped us deliver leaflets across Thanet. We want to do the same in the next week or so. If you can help with a small (or large!) donation please go to our GoFundMe page.