Manston Airport – MP Welcomes RiverOak initiative - 18th December 2015
North Thanet`s MP, Sir Roger Gale, has today (Friday 18th December) welcomed the announcement that the RiverOak Corporation of America is applying to acquire and operate Manston Airport through a Development Consent Order (DCO).
Following RiverOak`s statement Sir Roger has said:
“The Company has instigated the DCO process by notifying the Inspectorate of intention to proceed. If the application is granted, as it properly must be, then this will remove the future of Manston from the control of Thanet District Council while facilitating the full public consultation process and examination of the Company`s credentials and resources that they have been seeking for so long.
RiverOak have secured the services of Messrs Bircham Dyson Bell, one of the country`s leading practitioners in this field, to take the application and hearings through to a positive conclusion. I understand that Bircham Dyson Bell have already conducted more successful DCO bids than any other legal practice, and given their expertise and reputation for meticulous attention to process and detail, I would hope and expect that this may resolve the future of Manston, as an airport operating in the national interest, fully and finally.
The procedure will take time but, in competent hands and given a fair wind, there is the real possibility of planes flying from Manston again by the early part of 2017.”
Commenting on the “Why not before now” question, Sir Roger has added:
“RiverOak have sought, over very many months, to work with Thanet District Council, to enter into an indemnity agreement and to allow TDC to initiate a Compulsory Purchase Order. The recent and final rejection of this course of action by the Leader of TDC, Cllr. Wells, has released the Company from any implied sense of obligation and left the field free for the DCO application to be lodged and processed. Has it cost time? Yes, of course, but I applaud RiverOak`s integrity and determination to stick with the project in spite of TDC`s intransigence and I believe that the company does have the resources and the willpower and now the expertise to deliver. I hope that RiverOak will be allowed to succeed where Thanet Council has failed.”