Wednesday, January 07, 2009

SMEG Heads Airport Opposition

Yikes! Footling around on the old interfrangle just now, I came across a new blog entitled Stop Manston Expansion Group, or SMEG for short.

According to the authors:

The proposed expansion to 6 million passengers (currently 12,000) and 500,000 tonnes of freight per annum (currently 33,000) is totally out of keeping with the area, and will ruin what Ramsgate has to offer.

Ramsgate Main Sands, Royal Harbour, Royal Sands development, Harbour Parade, Ramsgate Town centre and approximately 13,000 houses/26,000 residents will all be subjected to planes at 500ft every few minutes for 18 hours a day.

Well you can't argue with that, can you? Er, well, I expect you lot can, actually.

Click here to visit SMEG blog


Anonymous said...

Anybody sane would agree with them. Although i rather suspect that the proposed expansion is nothing but a fantasy from Infratil.


S.M.E.G said...

ignoring them will get us nowhere. 11 years of 297 hectares gathering nothing but dust are testament to that.

People said the same about City airport 20 years ago - 120,000 flights a year now.

Ignore at your peril

Anonymous said...

City airport is in the City.

S.M.E.G said...

10 out of 10 for observation

ascu75 aka Don said...

bring it on says me.I am now disabled and unable to work but when the land put aside for industrial use and I was a roofer wanting to roof all those factory roofs.all these years later maybe my son might get some work,

S.M.E.G said...

We all want employment, but is an airport what we want at the pinnicle of Thanet employment? Airports are surrounded by warehouses and not a lot else. Airports limit what you can build around them, and what people want to build around them. I want more choice for my future generations. An airport limits that.

Plus, the jobs won't be that forthcoming. Thanet earth makes 550 jobs out of one-third the space of manston in a few years, conception, planning, build, production. Manston is scheduled to employ 600 by 2018.

And don't forget high speed rail opens up London as a daily commutable workplace.

Anonymous said...

Smeg you are the voice of reason and the future of Ramsgate.

Anonymous said...

SMEG sounds like he is truly SMUG, with 2 cars in the drive, annual holidays, not much debt and not much to think about other than how to protect his cushty life.

A bit like ECR really.

S.M.E.G said...

1 car, no drive, a shit load of debt, and I'd like to stop it from getting any worse.

what about you 10:28, what do you want for Ramsgate?

Anonymous said...

Too busy trying to keep my own head above water for the benefit of my family to worry about the niceties of "Ramsgate".

I don't think a tourist town can be called such unless it is inundated with tourists for at least 5 months of the year. Apart from some not bad beaches (which you could only sit on for about 5 days last year, never mind 5 months), a crap museum and ECR's blog, Ramsgate doesn't have much going for it anyway for tourists.

Unless of course you keep a gin palace in the harbour, which I don't.

So all in all, I would rather we have low flying MK pre 1980 707's skimming the roof tops of Ramsgate at regular intervals, if it brought me a decent job driving a fork lift or something at Manston.

And that would probably be a great 365 day a year attraction in itself for tourists - a kind of scare the shit out of you real life white knuckle type ride that you don't have to go to Alton Towers for. Just hang about in Ramsgate High Street for a bit. Cheap for the family, good for the shopkeepers.

Don't know why the council don't employ me in the tourism department, because I am full of great ideas like that.

Anonymous said...

Everybody wants to protect their way of life dont they? The best way of protecting/improving life in Ramsgate is getting rid of the airport. Don't underestimate the potential of Ramsgate.

S.M.E.G said...

anon 10:57, good luck in your pursuit of happiness.

your vision is a little different to mine.

it wouldnt suprise me if TDC offered you a job as head of tourism as your vision is in line with theirs.

Anonymous said...

10:58 You protect your lifestyle. I'll fight to get one like yours.

SMUG - Ramsgate has an airport. It exists. The option is probably a huge housing estate that would also have a negative affect on your life. The airport has been here forever, and you probably haven't. If you don't like it, move somewhere where there isn't one and let the rest of us get on with trying to make the most of it.

Harsh realities.

Rebecca said...

How marvellous, SMEG must be the brainchild of that clever Aussie running the airport to promote the place.

The airport knows full well that encouraging lame campaigners of the likes of Tim Garbutt and babbling mentalists is the best advert for airport expansion.

In any case, what does it matter, who, apart from people in Thanet, would want to fly from Manston?
Few people here can afford white socks to tuck their trackie bottoms in, let alone flights abroad.

Anonymous said...

I really do not understand the schizophrenia of comments such as 10:58. On the one hand people like you support the airport because you say it creates jobs. On the other hand people who have moved here in the last few years have probably created more jobs and injected more into the local economy than the airport has for more than a decade - and you're telling us to p*ss off? Get over yourself mate and come to terms with the facts:

1. Ramsgate has been here forever, KIA has only been here ten years

2. People who have been attracted to live in Ramsgate have just as much right to protest against the airport as those with their heads in the sand who were born here have to support it for the rather lame reason that 'it has been here forever'

3. Incomers, who are probably planning to commute to London jobs when the fast train arrives this year, are far more valuable to the local economy than, what, a few baggage handlers

4. Expanding the airport is just the kind of regeneration this island does not need

5. Or are you just one of the kushty few £60K a year air traffic controllers up there who can see the way the wind is blowing and is terrified you might have to go out into the real world and get a proper job?

S.M.E.G said...

Rebecca, head in the sand will get you nowhere, same as labelling thanets unfurtunates as trackie wearing poor people.

If the Aussie in charge of the airport has openly admitted he is not going to tell people what's it's really going to be like, and the council lose the power of speech if presented with something that promises jobs.

We want to plug the gap, inform the masses, work collectively for the good of the area.

If you think this is lame, doing nothing is not an option for us.

Email us your ideas if you don't want to put them here

Anonymous said...

When I said 10:58 I of course meant 11:50.


Anonymous said...

I've flown from Manston twice with Newmarket Holidays - very convenient but they only do two or three departures from here each year. The type of planes EUjet flew were quiet but it is the bigger heavier freighters that are so noisy.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is that I whole heartedly agree. Manston is madness.

Anonymous said...

Minor point. Infratil is a New Zealand company who very successfully run Prestwick Airport near Glasgow. Don't recall any campaign to stop that airport develop as the locals realise its potential for job creation.

By the way SMEG, buy a dictionary. You do your argument no good with spelling mistakes.

S.M.E.G said...

1.06pm Please check out Prestwick on google earth and tell me the differences between the town/runway positioning verses Ramsgate.

There is no spell check on comments which is my excuse. I will try harder for a gold star next time sir.

Anonymous said...

lol, poor little Ramsgate.... boo, hoo... well never mind, make all the blogs you like, your cause hasn't been picked up by the majority and therefore your opinions are those of the minority.

I'm all in favour of the airport and it would appear (basing opposition on a few 'ickle bloggers, and the poor opposition turnouts at any Infratil events) that the majority of Thanet is too... or at least doesn't care enough to drag their bums from the sofa!

JP Blanchard said...

The Masterplan clearly demonstrates that for those living under the flightpath (that is a line from the mainsands through town), life is going to get significantly louder (page 100). Indeed, a 'noise insulation scheme' is planned (page 97). It also states that the average aircraft size is expected to increase (page 101).

So make no mistake, the cost of this particular plan of expansion is the further deterioration of the town of Ramsgate.

This is a cost that is paid for by local people, not by the investors.

Challenge the developers to reduce the impact to a more acceptable level and we might have a compromise.

Anonymous said...

I did not know about the Manston expansion plan until I read this. I live in Ramsgate and have a visitor-based business here and will certainly be joining SMEG.

From the comments I have seen here, those who oppose the expansion of the airport have all the arguments. Those who are pro expansion just seem to be name callers.

Rear view mirror said...

So the action groups would have no china gateway or airport in Manston. What exactly is their plan? Maybe it is for a new village for prosporous ex Londoners.

It is all very well protesting against new/expanding developements, but part of the protesters arguement should be alternatives. What is this and the next generations employment prospects in Thanet. Probably wiping a#ses in old peoples homes, because that is all that will be left.

Peter Checksfield said...

If I had to choose between China Gateway or Manston Airport expansion then I'd definitely go for the latter...

Anonymous said...


Both pose a significant risk to the underground aquifers i.e. the SPZ's

KIA poses the more significant risk.

Every poster needs to ask this one question...would the planning system allow this airport to built now, if this was just greenfield land, the answer would be no.

The fact is that prior to civil ownership the MOD was exempt from pretty much any controls for a very good reason. The supine local authority then set about allowing uncontrolled development which is a matter of fact, hence we now have a draft or daft Masterplan which does not address the lack of an EIA from the outset.

Over to the airport supports club!!!

Anonymous said...

It's not the airport itself that will bring the jobs, but the ancillery trades surely. People to keep it all running and serviced. Some of these will be specialised jobs that need proper training.

For the airport to expand and have a larger impact on Ramsgate it needs to win substantial new business. Just ask yourself, is that likely in the foreseable future?

IMHO the plan may be in place, but the realisation will be sorely lacking. I can honestly see Infatril pulling out and the site going up for sale.

If the anti lobby really want to gather momentum then i suggest a campaign in the high street every friday and saturday when the market is running. Get a load of signatures and your views known by a vaste swathe of the public. We same few people can argue the pros and cons, but it needs a much wider audience.

Apathetic of R'gate

Anonymous said...

Infratil has owned Manston for three years. How many jobs have they created?

S.M.E.G said...

Peter, for someone who gets a nosebleed visiting Sandwich, you support an airport. Why?

Anonymous said...

I would like to know. Who is going to use this expanded airport? No carriers want to fly from the one that is there. The whole thing is nonsense.

Rebeccaca said...

We are hurtling into a depression, faster than Tim Garbutt is hoping a burning plane with hurtle towards Gerry O Donnel's tea stand. People aren't going to be flying so much and they certainly won't want to drive to the arse end of nowhere to fly in a disintegrating oriental heap of junk.

Very few people in thanet have got any really money anyway, a few people bought stupid big pick-up trucks to drive f all around the narrow horse lanes of ramsgate but only on anticipated capital gains on property. Now they have nothing but negative equity.

Thanet needs to know it's place. It's well placed for the recession as it's been in one and wallowing in a depression through the two biggest booms of the last century.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Gerry, what's Ramgate First's position on the airport? Come to think of it, we haven't heard a peep out of Gerry lately. Shouldn't he be in full tilt given it's the teeny-tiny elections this year that he's campaigned so hard for?

S.M.E.G said...

rear view mirror. Plenty of alternatives as its such a huge space.

Not wishing to look in the past, but Thanet Earth, China Gateway and Westwood Cross could all have fitted into Manstons brownfield site with room to spare. That is a bollock the council dropped and there's nothing we can do to fix those mistakes.

However, some alternatives off the top of our heads (we intent to gauge opinion on this very subject as some point on our own blog);

Thanet Earth 2 - room for 3 more
Leisure - centre parcs anyone?
business park - its a large site, could a pfizer-sized company be tempted to move lock/stock to Manston, now that excellent transport links will be in place by Dec 09
onshore wind farm
a mixture of the above

We have asked the council already what their plan b is. Obviously, as a major stakeholder in the airport, KCC and TDC should have prepared for the worst should infratil bail and no-one want to take it as a going concern. If they do not have any contingency plan, they should not be in office.

Anonymous said...

Please expand KIA... and take the geriatric MK freighters back in Manston, lots of love from Ostend!

Dave Panzer said...

Blimey someone mentioned housing, about time too. It's one of the big three needs in the area alongside more school places and jobs.

There's too much grief on here between islanders and mainlanders who've moved here. Knock it off, this isn't the Gaza strip.

This Gaza mentality will only increase if the needs of the old locals are ignored in favour of those of new locals. Whether the TCC falls into that category I don't know, all the new islanders I've met tend to be against it. It's a shameful expenditure given the dire needs of the Island.