Manston Airport decision ‘within weeks’

Manston Airport before it was closed in 2014

Within weeks Thanet District Council (TDC) could decide to carry out a compulsory purchase order (CPO) on the former Manston Airport site once a review of an earlier decision not to revive the gateway is completed.

The members of the TDC decision making body, the cabinet, agreed on Tuesday July 14 at an extraordinary meeting to review the December 2014 decision not to revive Manston.

In December, the then Labour party controlled council dismissed US investment company RiverOak Investment’s CPO bid to turn Manston into a cargo hub. On 5 May, local elections saw the UK Independence Party take control of the TDC. UKIP had committed itself to overturning the December decision.

UKIP council leader, councilor Chris Wells, tells Air Cargo Week: “The decision made at cabinet last night means that the council will start reviewing previous decisions and I hope this is a process which will take weeks rather than months.”

The council says the review will take account of all the surrounding circumstances relating to an indemnity partner for a possible CPO. As part of the decision, the council will seek specialist legal and finance advice to determine whether RiverOak is a, “suitable indemnity partner,” and to provide advice on the indemnity agreement and CPO process generally.

The review will also explore the likelihood a move to take the site from its owners would succeed.