RiverOak to hold meetings to reopen Manston as airfreight hub

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Manston Airport before it was closed in 2014

RiverOak Strategic Partners is to hold seven public consultation events as part of a six-week consultation period to reopen Manston Airport as an airfreight hub.

Manston Airport was closed in May 2014 and there has been a local campaign to reopen it. US firm RiverOak Investment Corp had offered to act as an indemnity partner for a compulsory purchase order with the local authority, Thanet District Council, but this was rejected.

It is now pursuing a development consent order, and RiverOak Strategic Partners was founded as a UK-based firm to manage this, run independently of RiverOak Investment Corp.

RiverOak Strategic Partners director, George Yerrall says: “The consultation is very important to us as it allows the local community to scrutinise our proposals and share their views and thoughts with us. This, in turn, will enable us to refine our proposals further before submitting the Development Consent Order application to the Planning Inspectorate, later this year.”

The seven consultations will take place at:
• The King’s Hall, Herne Bay, Wednesday 14 June 2pm-8pm
• The Pavilion, Broadstairs, Thursday 15 June 2pm-8pm
• Cliffsend Village Hall, Friday 16 June 2pm-8pm
• The Sands Hotel, Margate Saturday 17 June 10am-2pm
• The Guildhall, Sandwich Tuesday 20 June 2pm-8pm
• Abode Hotel, Canterbury Thursday 22 June 2pm-8pm
• The Comfort Inn, Ramsgate Saturday 24 June 10am-2pm

RiverOak will also be holding two briefings for businesses at The King’s Hall on 14 June and the Pavilion on 15 June from 10am-11.30am to explain its plans.

The consultation runs from 12 June to 23 July, and in its Statement of Community Consultation, RiverOak says plans will include upgrading the runway, constructing 19 new air cargo stands, developing new air cargo facilities and highway improvements as part of its plan to turn Manston into an airfreight hub able to handle at least 10,000 airfreight movements a year.