Council to undertake further soft-market testing

SuMA are very pleased that TDC have announced the re-opening of the soft market testing for the CPO of Manston Airport.

“Thanet District Council is to carry out a further round of soft-market testing to determine whether there are suitable indemnity partners for the potential compulsory purchase of Manston Airport.

Members are to note a report at an extraordinary Cabinet meeting on Thursday 10 December which recommends a further one month period calling for expressions of interest.

The decision to re-open a soft-market exercise comes as a result of interest from a number of parties following Cabinet’s October decision not to proceed with American firm, RiverOak.

As part of this process, senior members of the Council including Council Leader, Chris Wells and Chief Executive, Madeline Homer met today (Friday 27 November) with one party who have expressed an interest in participating in this exercise.

The names of companies or individuals who approach the council as part of this process will not be disclosed at this stage.

Further details of the soft-market process will be detailed within the Cabinet report once published.

Without the finances to pursue a CPO in its own right, the council has been clear that compulsory purchase of the airport could only be considered if there was an appropriate financial partner.

A potential indemnity partner needs to provide assurance that if a decision was made to pursue a CPO, a viable airport could come into sustainable long-term operation as quickly as reasonably possible – without any residual cost to the council. As such the council needed to identify a partner who could cover the costs of both purchasing the site and completing the development.”