Having been stuck in Calais and on detours around Kent for longer than I’d like this summer, I was interested to see news of a Special Development Order being used to grant planning permission for the use of land at Manston for Operation Stack.
The Order has been made on an urgent basis to come into effect today. The relevant land (at Manston Airport) has recently been used for Operation Stack purposes under permitted development rights, but those rights only allow up to 28 days’ use per year and that came to an end yesterday. The SDO, issued pursuant to sections 59 and 60 TCPA, grants consent for the use of the defined land for stationing goods vehicles, the provision of temporary structures etc and the use of the air traffic control tower, all specifically in connection with Operation Stack, subject to a number of conditions and limitations.
This should result in congestion on the M20 being eased, drivers being provided with better amenities and traffic to and from the port being controlled in a more efficient way.
The planning permission will expire on 1 June 2016, following which the land must be restored to its former condition and all structures etc removed.
Whilst it is accepted that the normal procedure for producing statutory instruments could not be followed in this case due to timing constraints (various public sector stakeholders were consulted but there was no public consultation), this SDO is an interesting example of how the planning system is able to respond to urgent situations.