MANSTON AIRPORT could be subjected to a compulsory purchase order (CPO) by Thanet District Council (TDC), depending on which party controls the council after the district elections on 7 May.
Manston Airport was closed on 15 May 2014. In September 2014 it was sold to developers for housing and business premises. Since then there has been political pressure for TDC to carry out a CPO and reopen the airport. The Labour Party controls the TDC with 26 seats. In December the Labour controlled TDC decided not to carry out a CPO. TDC cabinet leader and TDC Labour Party leader, Iris Johnston, tells Air Cargo Week she hopes Manston will reopen, even though she does not support a CPO. The Conservative Party has 22 seats and if it wins control, its TDC leader, Bob Bayford, says the CPO will go ahead. The United Kingdom Independence Party has two seats and also supports a CPO. The remaining TDC seats are held by independent councillors and they are either for, against or non-commital about a CPO. The TDC’s December CPO decision is now subject to a government study with a report expected after 7 May.