Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Latest news - market testing now underway

Thanet District Council is asking for expressions of interest to determine whether there are suitable indemnity partners for the potential compulsory purchase of Manston Airport and its subsequent operation.
This is part of the council’s considerations as to whether the compulsory purchase of the airport would be a viable option.
The council has issued a ‘Prior Information Notice’ as part of a market testing exercise which was approved by Cabinet on Thursday 31 July.
Interested parties have until Wednesday 20 August to register their interest, providing their contact and organisational details to
Following registration, applicants will then have to complete a questionnaire to identify their interest, capacity and capability in the market. Questionnaires need to be completed and submitted by no later than Monday 1 September.
The third and final stage will then involve face to face sessions which would be likely to take place in mid-September, although the exact details are still to be decided and depend on the level of response to the earlier phases.
The Council has been working to understand viability of the continuance of the site operating as an airport. An independent report was published last month (as part of the 31 July Cabinet paper) with initial findings.
The independent report revealed that compulsory acquisition of the site would rely on an identified indemnity partner making significant investment with a minimum 20 year business plan to deliver a viable and sustainable airport operation.
Under planning powers the Council could apply for a CPO however, if successful, the council would incur significant costs which would have to be met by a suitably qualified indemnity partner, to underwrite and meet all costs incurred by the Council.
Given the significant risks involved, the council has a duty to ensure any interested parties have the capability to cover the associated costs.
It is anticipated that this initial market testing exercise will then inform an options paper to be considered by Cabinet in the Autumn.

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