UK government asked to step into Manston CPO

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The UK government’s Department for Transport (DfT) is to review the issue of the Manston Airport site compulsory purchase after Thanet District Council’s 11 December 2014 decision deferral was referred to the government by the council’s scrutiny panel.

Manston Airport closed in May 2014 and was sold to developers in September 2014, but local and political pressure led to Thanet council considering a CPO, which could result in the airport reopening. US firm RiverOak Investment offered to fund the council’s CPO having attempted to buy the airport for £7 million ($10.6 million) in April 2014.

On 13 January, the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Panel examined the 11 December deferral decision and decided to send the issue to the DfT. No one from the Department was available for comment. Thanet council says: “The decision that no further action be taken at this present time on a CPO of Manston [is to] be reviewed by [Thanet District Council] Cabinet on receipt of new information from the Minister of Transport.”

RiverOak chief executive officer, Stephen DeNardo, tells Air Cargo Week (ACW): “We are confident that the DfT review will satisfy the council of our suitability so that we may refocus our joint efforts on reopening the Manston Airport as soon as possible.”

He has previously told ACW that RiverOak has spent £600,000 and eight months so far: “To prove our suitability as a CPO indemnity partner to Thanet District Council.”

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