Following last night's open meeting of the RAF London Kent Manston etc etc 'consultative' committee (where it was also announced that Flybe will running a scheduled service to the, er, exotic destination of Jersey next year), reader Steve has copied me in on this open letter to the residents of Ramsgate:
I write to you with information from the Manston Airport Consultative Committee public meeting on Tuesday 2nd December 6:30pm. The meeting I felt was key to attend, specifically as I live on the Ramsgate flight approach path and I'm very interested in developments at the airport suggested in its Draft Masterplan, published on 8th October.
For those not familiar with its content, the Masterplan predicts growth, and sets out plans to accommodate 1.2 million passengers by 2010, 2 million passengers by 2013, and eventually rising to 6 million passengers by 2033. The Masterplan also details how this will be achieved, and touches on the effect this will have on the surrounding environment. The full plan is available on the Manston Airport website.
Many facts and figures were discussed, but the points important to me and every other Ramsgate resident are obvious - increases in flights over our town will have a detrimental effect on our lives through continuous noise pollution. Flights will arrive for 70% of the time over Ramsgate, with planes only at 500ft creating noise levels of over 100 decibels for the noisiest aircraft, with the average maximum at 85 decibels. Night flights, which have increased by 518% since the current owners took ownership, will wake you from your sleep on occasions. Ramsgate Main Sands, the town centre and harbour will all suffer from increased noise levels.
This will only work to discourage visitors and new business from coming to Ramsgate. House prices will depress at a greater rate verses other parts of Thanet that are not under the flight path.
Only two members of the public attended the meeting last night. The public has until 19th December to officially respond to the Masterplan. The next step for the Masterplan is to submit a full planning application to the council, who fervently support all development up to 10 million passengers a year at Manston.
You can voice your opinion in many ways; by electronic feeback on the Manston Airport website; by writing to your local councillor (details available on TDC's website); or by writing to your local MP, Stephen Ladyman. If you think airport expansion is a bad thing for Ramsgate, you have to make your voice heard before its too late.
Kind Regards, Steve Higgins
So, if you're at all concerned, do use the links in my sidebar on the right to make your feelings known.
Click here to read Flybe story in yourfannitinnit