Negotiations over Manston Airport’s future have hit rock bottom with investors accusing Thanet council’s leader of “throwing roadblocks in front of us”. US firm RiverOak is offering to partner with the local authority to buy and run the airport. It needs Thanet District Council to serve a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) on the site’s current owners, who want to redevelop it for business and residential use.
But council leader Chris Wells is now demanding further assurances that RiverOak has necessary funders lined up to buy the airport and pay for its operation. Before being voted into office in May, Ukip’s Cllr Wells had promised his electorate he would fight to get the airport up and running. RiverOak has now lost patience and broken its silence, accusing Cllr Wells of “inexplicably throwing one roadblock after another in front of us”.
In a letter to Cllr Wells, Chief investment officer George Yerrall writes:
“You were elected on an extremely strong mandate to launch a CPO with RiverOak and you claimed before you were elected that you had reviewed the Indemnity Agreement and had no basic issues with it. Here we are, six months later and you send me what amounts to a legal opinion, under your own signature, that is filled with factual inaccuracies and irrelevancies that attempt to rewind the process back to zero in the name of ‘progress’.”
Cllr Wells has already faced calls to resign after being accused of stalling the process by members of the Save Manston Airport campaign group.
Cross-post from Kent Online.by