Could you kindly answer the following questions about the compulsory purchase by TDC of Manston Airport as announced in a press release by Sir Roger Gale today.
My understanding is that Manston airport has no planning consent as an airport and runs on a S 106 and would therefore qualify for cpo as a brownfield site rather than specifically as an airport.
1 Does the council intend to grant planning permission for the airport?
2 Would they have to obtain an environmental permit “EP”?
3 Would the council be prepared to fund the work necessary to obtain and EP?
4 Assuming the running costs of the airport were the same as when Infratil were running it £20k per day, funded £2k by airport charges, £10k by Infratil and £8k by the UK government via the MOD, does the council intend to reopen and fund the airport?
5 Would the UK government via the MOD £8k per day funding still be available?
6 Does the recent surrender of the airport’s Civil Aviation Authority Licence impact on the site’s status as an airport in terms of compulsory purchase?
7 Assuming the council compulsory purchased the site is there any way having sold on or leased to a third party all or part of the site that the council could guarantee continued use for aviation or would the council have to run the site as airport operator to ensure this?
Best regards Michael
Anyway I phoned the council on Monday and the said they would respond on Monday but the didn’t.
So I phoned them yesterday and the same thing happened.
I have just received the following email from them.
I understand from our Customer Services team that you have been asking for an update on the council’s position on Manston Airport.
Please be assured that we are publishing the very latest information in respect of the airport and the council’s options on our website as soon as this becomes available.
I have included a link to our latest statement which has just been updated today: http://thanet.gov.uk/the-thanet-magazine/news-articles/2014/june/manston-airport-–-latest-council-update/
Apologies for not coming back to you before now. Please assume that the latest information will be updated to the website as soon as we have further information to share.
If it helps I can send you an e-mail as a prompt as and when this changes.
A bit of a ramble about the cpo petitons and stuff, just my own thoughts but I would appreciate any comment saying where peole think I am wrong. I don’t think TDC engaging in a cpo is likely to work, my feelings about Sir Roger Gale’s package (RiverOak are after all seven hedge fund mangers with no verifiable connection to aviation and TDC are the district council and don’t represent the catchment of the airport) is, it is just a political ruse to avoid pressure on KCC. I guess SMA could produce a viable petition to KCC requesting a public consultation on KCC engaging in a Manston cpo, I guess the main problem here is that realistically we would be looking at a council subsidised airport and a brownfield development site value in the £700m ballpark. Without planning permission any claim to it being an airport isn’t attached to the site but is an agreement with the company that Ann Gloag bought.
What I mean here is that on the day the council bought the airport site they would have a brownfield site with no planning consent as an airport, I don’t think there is any way they could acquire the company that holds the agreements under which Manston functioned as an airport.
My guess is that you would be looking at the council doing the work for an EP environmental permit and then applying for planning consent, with the resultant ecological study and public enquiry. What I am saying here is that any council buying the site would then have to fund turning it into an airport with planning consent in order to be able to pass it on to an operator with an agreement that it remained an airport.
Another factor here is that for a council to do this, the council would almost inevitably have to raise council tax above the referendum threshold, so the council wouldn’t be able to fund it unless the public agreed by referendum.