Manston Revival - 3rd May 2017
A small group of people, of whom I am one, have consistently sought to see Manston re-opened, as an operational Freight , Passenger and General Aviation airport in the national interest.
I personally believe that Manston is an asset that cannot and should not be squandered as, once built over, it can never of course be restored to aviation use.
I have been willing, and remain willing, to talk with anyone seriously interested in re-opening Manston as a centre for freight, passengers and aviation-related industries but to date only RiverOak Strategic Partnership has staunchly and with determination pursued that objective and has demonstrated to my satisfaction that they have access to the funds necessary to do the job properly.
Thanet`s UKIP-controlled Council, elected on a pledge to re-open Manston airport and under the leadership of Cllr. Wells, has in contrast spent £50 thousand of taxpayers money commissioning a report suggesting that the airfield is not viable, has withdrawn its` objection to planning applications for change of use on airside buildings on the airfield and has, via the draft local plan, sought to give the green light to housing and industrial development on the airfield.
Cllr Wells has, in press comment, posed the question of the desirability of “competition”. I believe in competition but the competition in this case appears to be not between rival aviation companies but between those who wish to see Manston re-opened as an airfield and those who wish to see the bulldozers move in, the runway torn up and the site developed for housing and commercial buildings.
If there is indeed another serious player on the field then I would strongly advise that they make contact with me and, more importantly, that they seek to make common cause with RiverOak Strategic Partnership as the company that has already carried out the necessary Environmental Impact Assessment and has the development Consent order process in hand.