RiverOak Strategic Partners
In a covering letter to its response to the Arup Assessor’s report, as part of the redetermination process for the Manston Airport DCO, RiverOak Strategic Partners has set out concerns over not only the content of the Arup Report, but also the “untimetabled and protracted” process of redetermination that the Secretary of State for Transport has presided over – signalling that, had RSP known earlier how poorly the process would be run, it would not have consented to the Secretary of State’s decision to concede.
In the letter, submitted on behalf of RSP by its lawyers BDB Pitmans, RSP also expresses its concern that, having withheld the basis on which Arup was commissioned, the Government only revealed the terms of reference under which Arup worked when forced to do so – following a Member of Parliament making a Freedom of Information request.
In the main body of the response, RSP sets out its concerns that, instead of addressing the issue of ‘need,’ Arup produced a narrowly focused demand study, which only considers changes to demand in relation to Covid-19, Brexit and other factors. The unknown authors of the report have focused on issues entirely unconnected to the Judicial Review and redetermination – such as e-commerce, changes to aircraft design, impacts on GDP and national resilience – and have also attempted to consider the issue of ‘viability’ which, in addition to not being an appropriate consideration in this redetermination would have required interrogating RSP’s business model to do so effectively, which was not done.