One of the directors of RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) – the company proposing to create an air freight hub at the Manston airport site.
Niall Lawlor resigned his position on September 27. He had been with the company since its UK inception in December 2016 and in its American forerunner formerly RiverOak Investment Corp prior to the UK arm purchasing all rights and interests.
Mr Lawlor’s experience is in fixed income, capital markets and private equity. He has worked on commercial loan assets and opportunistic real estate investments in the United States, United Kingdom and Europe.
A statement from RSP says: “Niall Lawlor has left the board of RSP and its subsidiaries after serving for four years.
“We understand he is pursuing new opportunities in the US where he and his young family have their home.
“The board of RSP would like to record their thanks to Niall for his commitment to the cause of Manston and wish him well in his future endeavours.”
It is understood Mr Lawlor, who comes from Connecticut, has not been to the UK since the covid pandemic hit.
Remaining directors are former Chairman of PlaneStation Tony Freudmann, Helix Fiduciary co-founder Nick Rothwell, Swiss Client Relationship Manager for Bank Julius Baer & Co Gerhard Hüsler, Swiss financial planner Rico Seitz and American real estate and equity specialist George Yerrall.
A Development Consent Order granting approval for RSP’s air freight hub at Manston airport last July was quashed in February this year with a new decision now needing to be issued after a re-examination of the Planning Inspectorate evidence.
The action came as the result of a Judicial Review challenge to the decision, launched by Ramsgate resident Jenny Dawes last year, which was to have been heard in the High Court.
The substantive hearing was due to look at whether the Government followed correct procedure in reaching the decision to approve the DCO for airport landowners RiverOak Strategic Partners.
But, last December the Department of Transport acknowledged that the decision approval letter issued from the Minister of State did not contain enough detail about why approval was given against the advice of the Planning Inspectorate and said the Judicial Review would not be contested.
An official consent order from the court was issued to quash the approval and the new decision letter is yet to be published.
The site is in ownership of RSP after a £16million buy out from previous owners Stone Hill Park who had hoped to gain permission for a multi-use housing, business and leisure development.