The firm aiming to create a cargo aviation hub at Manston, RiverOak Strategic Partners, paid £16.5 million to buy the airport site from former owners Stone Hill Park.
The sum is revealed in the latest documents submitted to the Planning Inspectorate which has been holding an examination of RSP’s application for a Development Consent Order on the land. The DCO seeks development consent and compulsory buy-out powers over the land. It is the means of obtaining permission for developments categorised as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP).
Completion of the transaction, which will mean RSP subsidiary RiverOak MSE will own more than 95% of the site wanted for the plans, is expected by July 11 but remains conditional upon the Secretary of State for Transport granting his consent. This is expected to be received by July 10.
This permission may be needed due to a special development order designating the Manston airport site for use as a lorry park to cope with possible post-Brexit jams at the Port of Doverwhich is contracted to run until December 31, 2020.
The Planning Inspectorate examining panel, led by Kelvin McDonald, has been examining the bid being made by RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) to acquire the site and create the cargo hub and associated aviation business.
The land was owned by Stone Hill Park which had submitted a planning application to create up to 3,700 homes, business and leisure and associated infrastructure.
During the examination RSP said compensation payable for the compulsory take over of the Manston airport site would be “no more than £7.5 million.”
However Stone Hill Park told examiners their valuation was nearer to a level of £20 million and, with relevant consent in place for development a benchmark figure of £38 million had been identified.
SHP own 742 acres of the site, which totals around 770 acres, with the remaining plots belonging to other interested parties.
The £16.5million spend means RSP’s outlay during the process now stands at some £30 million, according to the latest summary document submitted by the firm.
It states: “To date, the Applicant has spent in excess of £15m on the acquisition of the Jentex fuel site and in pursuing the DCO application. It has now spend a further £16.5m on the acquisition of 18946481.1 11 the SHP site. In total, a very considerable sum has been raised and spent on this project, in excess of £30m.”
The DCO examination concludes on July 9. Approval for the DCO is still needed for airport project with a decision from the Secretary of State expected by January 2020.
Night Flights, and a workable 106 agreement, will still need to be resolved as will the issue of noise levels and the question of how many households should qualify for compensation.