Reaction from campaigners who still want to see an airport at Manston - and from those who support the new plans. We speak to Dan Rivers from Save Manston; MP Sir Roger Gale, Susan Kennedy from Manston Pickle and Thanet council leader Iris Johnston.
Regeneration specialists Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave have bought the former Manston Airport site. Our report is from Sarah Saunders,
We spoke to Chris Musgrave who is the new owner of Manston Airport.
"The council is already part-way through a process to review whether compulsory purchase of the site is a viable option following a petition presented to the council on 10 July.
The outcome of a soft-market testing exercise to identify suitable indemnity partners to cover all of the associated costs of a CPO will be taken to Cabinet on Thursday 16 October.
The council will then undertake a wider review of the options for the site and as part of this would seek further details from the new site owners to understand more about their proposal.
A report outlining all of the options for the future of the privately-owned site will then be brought to a Full Council meeting for all 56 Councillors to consider.
The council has been clear that a CPO will not go ahead unless there is evidence of the economic viability of the site operating as an airport and a suitable investor identified to cover all of the costs required."
"My own position, which remains as before and which I have stated in terms to Mr. Cartner, is that I believe that it is in both the national and the local interest for Manston to remain open as an airfield, that if he wishes to pursue that route alongside airport related industries then he will have my support and that if he wishes to tear up the airfield and smother the land in industrial premises that can and should be located elsewhere in Thanet, or to assist Ms. Gloag in the realisation of her plan to create a significant housing development , then I shall oppose his plans in the interests of those that I represent."
"Trevor and Chris are a credible team with a proven track record in creating high quality jobs through redevelopment opportunities. Their business plan looks thorough, considered, and viable and, with the support of the local community, will deliver thousands of local jobs and many community benefits in the coming years. This development is an exciting opportunity for Manston, Thanet and beyond and can transform the future of East Kent.”
RiverOak, the investment company who had hoped to buy Manston Airport say they have passed on a message to Thanet District Council saying 'nothing has changed' as far as they are concerned.
The following announcement has been released by the Porterfield PR agency
NEW OWNERS ANNOUNCED FOR FORMER KENT AIRPORT SITE
Successful regeneration specialists Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave have bought the former Manston Airport site in Thanet, Kent.
The partnership has extensive experience of large-scale regeneration projects and is part of the Discovery Park consortium that is transforming the former Pfizer facility in Sandwich.
The new owners envisage a £1 billion redevelopment of the 800-acre site, over a 20-year period, into a mixed-use scheme helping to create more than 4,000 jobs.
Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave recently met with the site’s owner, Ann Gloag, and swiftly reached agreement to acquire a majority interest.
Any future development would be aimed at providing space for a wide range of businesses, with a focus on attracting companies interested in advanced manufacturing, as well as the provision of housing, shops, schools and community facilities.
Chris Musgrave commented: “Whilst it is too early to be specific about our plans, we will be looking to comprehensively redevelop the whole site to create a mixed-use community. This is in light of the fact that the airport has closed, the equipment has been sold and it will not reopen. We are aware that there were a number of job losses when the airport closed and a far greater number will replace these, and that the benefits will reach the whole of east Kent. We will assemble a first class team to produce and deliver high quality plans for the site.”
The plans are likely to include production and warehousing space in the development, which will meet a current shortage of space in Thanet for companies to grow and expand. It will also complement the Discovery Park scheme at Sandwich, where occupancy is already over 50% after only two years and recent demand for large production/warehousing requirements has been turned away due to lack of suitable accommodation.
Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave are the team behind successful regeneration projects at Wynyard Park in the north-east of England, built on a site vacated by Samsung, and Discovery Park, where a new 220-acre science and technology park is being built on the site of Pfizer’s former headquarters.
It's been reported that American investment firm RiverOak has offered to help Thanet Council buy Manston Airport in Kent.
The offer is believed to have come to light in a letter from the CEO, offering the council support for a possible compulsory purchase order of the site. The airport closed in May with the loss of 150 jobs.