Documents have been submitted for the first deadline of the Planning Inspectorate examination of the Development Consent Order application by firm RiverOak Strategic Partners to gain compulsory buy-out powers over the Manston airport site.
The firm says it wants to revive aviation at the site with a cargo hub and associated business. The DCO seeks development consent and compulsory buy-out powers over the land.
The Manston airport site is owned by Stone Hill Park which has lodged an application to develop housing, leisure and business on the land.
This month a preliminary hearing and three open floor sessions were held with representations from groups including Save Manston Airport association and No Night Flights as well as residents, businesses and councillors.
A publication timetable followed and submissions for the first deadline are now available on the PINs website.
A cover letter from RSP to the Planning Inspectorate reveals it is restructuring in response to concerns about its funding vehicle M.I.O Investments Limited, which holds 90% of shares in the company but is registered in Belize.
The remaining 10% of its shares are held by RiverOak Manston Ltd
M.I.O Investments Limited ultimate beneficial owners are resident in Switzerland and the UK. It is managed and administered by Helix Fiduciary AG, a Swiss registered and regulated fiduciary company.
According to the funding statement submitted for RSP: “Helix also manages and controls all the investors’ funds that provide the funding for the Manston DCO. MIO has access to committed and unencumbered funds to ensure the completion of the DCO …totalling £13,600,000, but in fact £15 million has been committed.”
The statement says RSP had spent £9million on the DCO process at the time of the report publication.
But concerns have been raised that the Belize registered company means a lack of transparency as Belize will not disclose its banking or fiscal information to any foreign party and has no reporting requirements.
In the letter to PINs RSP say this has led to a restructuring of the ownership of RSP with UK registration, which is currently still in process.
A funding statement for RSP, submitted for the first DCO deadline, says: “The intention is that RSP’s parent company will be registered in the UK with full transparency as to its directors and shareholders. The restructuring is currently in process and is subject to commercial confidentiality but it is anticipated that it will be complete and that further details can be put into the public domain by Deadline 3 (8 February).“
The current directors of RSP are Nicholas Rothwell, Rico Seitz and Gerhard Huesler – all residents of Switzerland, Niall Lawlor and George Yerrall, US residents and Anthony Freudmann, UK resident.
Further details about RSP funding requested for the January 18 deadline will now be submitted by deadline 3 (February 15), says RSP.
These include accounts, shareholders, investors and proof of assets.
The RSP funding statement says that a request for details of the funders who have already expressed interest and others that are likely to come forward is “commercially sensitive particularly during the current restructure, but the funders will be approached for permission for their names to be made known.” They say “it is hoped that this information can be provided at Deadline 3”.
However, the funding statement states interest as coming from investors based in the UK, the Far East and North America, adding: “The profile of the various interested institutional investors includes entities with extensive broad-based aviation investments, in terms of aircraft leasing portfolios, but also with extensive airport infrastructure interests combining investment ownership, airport management, airport construction, expansion and airport masterplanning.”
The funding statement submitted on behalf of RSP lays out predicted costs of the project as £100 million for the first phase, adding: “The cost of developing the remaining phases of the project over a 15-year period is estimated to be an additional £200 million, i.e. a total of £300 million.
“This cost estimate includes the cost of implementing the project, the cost of construction and the funding of the acquisition of the necessary rights over land, including any interference with rights.”
It says compensation for the compulsory take over of the Manston airport site, owned by Stone Hill Park, would be “no more than £7.5 million.”
There are also estimated payments due to noise mitigation estimated at insulation policy and Part I claims: £4m for up to 1000 properties at £4000 each and relocation costs of £1.6m for up to eight properties.
The statement says a sum of £500,000 for blight claims is secured in RSP accounts now.
A letter from Helix Fiduciary AG states its financial support to complete the DCO and airport purchase, blight claims and compensation for an estimated £15 million.
The examination process will run between now and the completion date on July 9.