The owners of the former Manston airport site have confirmed today that they will be seeking outline planning permission for their billion pound development plans within the next five months. They say the development is crucial for the social and economic future of Thanet. A round of public consultations next week will reveal options for the layout of the site. And as our reporter Sarah Saunders found out, even the name of the new development will be up for discussion.
Is it the end for hopes of reopening Manston Airport? Last night, councillors from Thanet District Council - elected earlier this year on a promise to get planes flying again, admitted that any reopening of the airport was not going to happen any time soon.
Specifically, a Compulsory Purchase Order, or plans to use a compulsory purchase of the airfield, were scrapped. The same councillors told us today, that they had not abandoned their vision - but were exploring new options.
Meanwhile, 18 months after the place was mothballed, airport developers say the council's wasting time and money. Derek Johnson has our report.
The interviewees are: Cllr Chris Wells, Leader, Thanet District Council, UKIP; Niall Lawlor from RiverOak Investments; Ray Mallon, spokesman for Stone Hill Park owners Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave.
The investment firm that had been in negotiations with Thanet District Council over a Compulsory Purchase Order of the Manston Airport site, has expressed its disappointment that the plan has been shelved.
Last night councillors from Thanet District Council met. They said they had postponed plans to buy and reopen the former airport in Kent. They added that the decision followed legal advice that their proposals were not financially sound.
Niall Lawlor from RiverOak Investment Corp. said the firm is going to carry on pushing for the project to go ahead.
Meanwhile the current owners of the airport say they will press ahead with plans for a housing and business development.
Thanet District Council has postponed plans to buy and re-open the former Manston Airport site in Kent.
Councillors met last night having had legal advice that their proposals were not financially sound. But executives from RiverOak, a US investment corporation which backs the reopening of the airport, say they're determined to carry on with their plans.
Serious doubts are being raised about the effectiveness of turning the Manston Airport site into a giant lorry park.Read the full story ›
Former employees of Manston airport are holding a reunion today to mark a year since its closure.
Also at the event, which will involve forming a giant mural of pictures, will be ancilliary airfield businesses.
The event is being held with the support of pro-Manston groups.
More than 140 people lost their jobs when the loss-making airport closed last year, because it failed to find a buyer.
Campaigners hoping to see Manston Airport in Kent reopened have been in Westminster today, as MPs listened to evidence for restoring the runway for aircraft. The Airport closed in May 2014, amid fears that the site would be used for housing or commercial development. But many locals - including the MP - have never given up the fight to make the airport a commercial success. Our Political Correspondent Phil Hornby sent this roundup.
The future of Manston Airport to be discussed by MPs at the House of Commons this afternoon. The site closed in May 2014 with the loss of around 150 jobs.
The discussions are part of the Transport Select Committee's evidence sessions for its smaller airports inquiry. The witnesses due to speak include representatives of Kent Airport Ltd, RiverOak Investment Corp, Thanet District Council and Kent County Council.
Members of the Save Manston pressure group are also in London to make their voices heard.
Campaigners fighting to reopen Manston Airport have suffered a further set back. The Cabinet committee on Thanet District Council has tonight voted to take no further action on the airport at the present time. It had been hoped the council would compulsory purchase the site - which closed last Spring. It has now been sold to developers who plan to use the area for manufacturing and housing.
“RiverOak Investments is surprised and disappointed at the recommendations being made by Thanet District Council to its councillors not to proceed with the compulsory purchase of Manston Airport in Kent.
We believe that the council is making a very serious error of judgement not only in respect of the economy of Thanet and East Kent, but also in respect of runway capacity in the South East of England. We were further surprised that in Thanet District Council’s press release it would appear that the Council has already decided the CPO issue in advance of the Cabinet meeting we understood was to occur next week.
Over the last few months we believe we have delivered to the Council all the relevant paperwork and information that they have asked for, and throughout we have stood by our commitment to cover all the costs of the CPO.
We will take time to read the report, study its implications and formulate the appropriate response, but I would like to reiterate that our plan costs the taxpayer nothing and yet it preserves a strategically important piece of transport infrastructure and returns it to productive economic use.”