Here are my live notes of the meeting that decided to go ahead with expansion of the airport.
Councillors were presented with a 7 page new Section 106 Obligation (Amendment) KIA agreement between Infratil and Thanet Council (TDC). A 5 minute adjournment was agreed to consider it.
Cllr. Sandy Ezekiel proposed the item because of its importance. He proposed the report saying very little.
He then asked Brian White the leading officer to introduce the report. The Company was formed by Infratil on 29th January and they then contacted the Council.
Infratil wanted improved infrastructure and greater "shoulder period" flying hours. He noted how short the time period was since the application.
2 key issues - short timescale available because of the current economic circumstances. He noted £10m of investment by Infratil.
He noted noise issues and referred to the draft masterplan.Mr. White went on to take members through the report
The variation was the key issue with early morning and late night shoulder periods.
Apply to aircraft QC4 and less.
Runways between 2300 and 0700 to be away from Ramsgate wherever possible.
Monthly detailed reports and quarterly reviews.
The draft 106 agreement had been received today and was recommended by Mr. White and the Head of Legal Services.
4 Amendments were then submitted by Dave Green.
Chris Wells asked for greater explanation of shoulder periods.Brian White said this was an aviation industry term meaning the edge of nighttime.
Peter Campbell asked what night time meant. Answer 2300-0700. Peter said this was not then late evening. Applause from public gallery.
Amendment 1 Trial period for 9 months only. Dave Green proposed this. He wanted changes to go ahead tonight to create jobs. He wanted this as a check and a balance allowing for 3 monthly reviews unless both sides agreed a new agreement.
Mike Harrison opposed the amendment saying it did not give a long enough period to establish the new airline.
Chris Wells opposed as he said the new agreement tonight gave an 18 month period which he felt was correct.
Richard Nicholson opposed the agreement on the basis that 18 months was a more appropriate period.
Liz Green seconded the motion complaining about the timing of the meeting, the short notice and the lack of public consultation.
Sandy Ezekiel, Roger Latchford and Shirley Tomlinson objected to my taking notes on my blackberry. The Chair ruled they were wrong.
Sandy Ezekiel and Roger Latchford opposed the amendment.
Peter Campbell, myself, Liz Green and Dave Green supported the amendment. All others opposed it. Amendment lost.
2nd amendment to not leave the agreement open ended to allow other aircraft to come in.
Cllr. Jarvis asked whether the agreement was for 3 years or for a different period. Has the extension been agreed verbally or in writng?
In 2000 Mr. White said a voluntary agreement was reached so it was not formally a planning agreement. He noted there was no formal 106 agreement, rather an informal one that continued to run.
Mike Harrison said it was wrong to impose only one company to a planning cause as it may be illegal.
Simon Day said it should not be a monopoly agreement.
Chris Wells opposed the amendment.
Richard Nicholson said there should be restrictions around capacity. Only so many planes could take off from runway 10 and runway 28. He wanted less quiet and dirty planes to not be allowed and to stop 100s of flights.
Sandy Ezekiel opposed a monopoly. Martin Wise wanted to give as many operators as wanted to come in. He wanted to have a regional airport backed by SEEDA and KCC. He said this should like other regional airports.
Peter Campbell noted Mr. Wise was drifting from the subject and he stopped speaking.
Liz Green seconded the amendment saying it should be a trial period and wanted to avoid the thin end of the wedge to night time flights flooding in.
Sandy Ezekiel said about 6 planes an hour could be flying in. Mike Harrison asked for legal advice. The advice was the amendment would be retrictive.
P Campbell asked why deal was tied to only 1 operator? Mr. White said because only 1 applicant/operator so far.
Roger Latchford said an operator had approached. He was legally concerned. Concerned Manston could be at a disadvantage.
Amendment lost only Dave Green, Liz Green and Peter Campbell supporting.
Amendment 3 welcomed flying away from Ramsgate and QC4 or less flights.He wanted tighter monitoring of flights coming in over Ramsgate. Peter Campbell seconded to keep traffic away from Ramsgate. Mike Harrison opposed but had concerns about current monitoring.
Richard Nicholson as a KIACC member was aware of concerns and felt reporting was sufficient currently.
Simon Moores said with west winds meaning landing on runway 28 when there were strong wind speeds. This meant flights coming over Ramsgate. Liz Green noted many times planes came in on quiet balmy days.
Sandy Ezekiel said when there were light winds at the ground at 500 feet it was often very windy indeed.
Lost only myself, Liz and Dave Green and Peter Campbell supporting.
Dave Green supported doubling of penalties in amendment 4 where there were night time breaches. Liz Green seconded.
Mike Harrison said this would drive business away. Thanet's fines were already the highest in the UK. Each time there was a breach the sum doubled. KIACC has distributed money to many good causes. He wanted meaningful but not punitive fines.
Simon Moores said this could put pressure on crews to fly to avoid fines. This could mean rushing and affect flight safety.
Richard Nicholson said there was a strict regime already. This was sufficient.
Bob Bayford and Harry Scobie left the meeting.
Sandy Ezekiel wanted fines referred to the Working Party.
Liz Green supported amendment speaking of a plane going over Ramsgate at 5.30 in Ramsgate this morning.
Peter Campbell said Simon Moores comments were ill informed.
Lost only Dave and Liz Green supporting.
At 1835 R Nicholson started debate by accepting proposals subject to an agreed night time flying policy in the next 18 months. He had received several emails and letters. Overwhelmingly his constituents supported this proposal. He wanted clear legal limits.
Martin Wise said 28 years ago when he arrived in Thanet he knew there was an airport. He had always supported it. He was delighted at the rumoured calibre of the company coming and was desperste for Infratil to succeed wishing them every good luck.
Bill Hayton said he had lived in Ramsgate under the flight path. He had counted the noise of the time it takes a plane to fly over it is 9 seconds near the airport, but 45 seconds on the Eastcliff. Sometimes noise was necessary to gain employment.
Mike Harrison declared an interest in that he was looking for a job. However he said at 64 he may not have enough time to be trained. He described many jobs that could come. Local jobs for local people. He asked that recruitment should be through local job centres and recruitment agencies.
He understood it to be 4 flights between 6 and 7 in the morning, the rest in normal daytime hours. He wanted better monitoring. He hoped for other carriers too.
Peter Campbell said we were being bounced because we did not have a current policy. He was concerned that people would still suffer noise problems. He said monitoring was lamentable.
John Watkins said as a Margate councillor he noted the deprivation and unemployment in his ward. He said we had to secure current jobs as well as gaining more. He wanted environmental impacts to be thoroughly undertaken. He noted Infratil needed to share information via the internet on alive basis to prevent rumour mongering.
Jill Kirby said he her ward was nearest and most people had supported airport expansion. She said the 50 people at a meeting last week were insufficient to change her and Brenda Rogers' minds. She had conducted a consultation of over 300 residents and 80% were in favour of the proposal.
Zita Wiltshire wanted Thanet's Airport asset to work for Thanet. She noted the local brain drain.
Liz Green opposed the motion as she felt bounced into a decision and this would affect tourism and weekenders. She was concerned at quality of life and had no faith in the monitoring. Applause from the gallery.
Dave Green opposed and concerned that Roger Latchford had not arranged a night time flight policy. He felt rushed and was concerned at the current situation where the current Cabinet had not addressed their responsibilities.
Clive Hart said there were few views of residents. There had been little consideration of their views.
I spoke to say although I had concerns most of my constituents backed the proposal. We were all representatives and we should reflect the views of those who voted for us. I was therefore supporting the substantive proposal.
Jo Gideon had been consulting her residents. She said that health threats were greater from unemployment than plane noise.
Ken Gregory said a speedy response was essential to gain investment.
Tom King said as a born cynic he was sceptical of promises from TDC. He wanted the jobs for Thanet people because of high local unemployment.
Mr. Bunnett (Acting Chief Executive) said jobs could not be guaranteed locally.
Mike Taylor lived under the flight path and his straw poll was in favour.
John Kirby spoke personally of his experience paying benefits to unemployed people. He was sceptical of lower house prices. He supported the proposal.
Liz Green said about health there were problems and she opposed night flights and the effects of night flights. Concerned at affect on schools where lessons stopped when planes went overhead.
Kay Dark opposed early morning and late nights flights.
Roger Latchford wanted economic regeneration.
Sandy Ezekiel said the majority of members and the public were supportive. He wanted Thanet to be open for business.
The motion was voted in favour with only 4 against Liz Green, Tom King, Dave Green and Kay Dark.
This was done as an almost "live" blog. Sadly the Council Leader Sandy Ezekiel, his Deputy and Shirley Tomlinson objected. Thanks to the outgoing Chair John Kirby for letting me continue to take notes to relay after the end of the meeting. If I had been writing notes on paper there would have been no problem. As I said at the meeting the Council's leadership needs to get into the 21st Century and remove the ban on live reporting of Council meetings unless confidential matters are being discussed.
I will be happy to amend any entry for any person if I have not quite captured the essence of what they were trying to say.
Thanks to all those who voted in the poll, final result For 57 Against 44.