The sale of the Manston airport site to the firm aiming to bring cargo aviation and associated businesses to the site has been completed this evening (July 9).
Contracts were exchanged between RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) and former landowners Stone Hill Park last Wednesday but could not be completed until permission was given by the Secretary of State.
This was needed due to a special development order designating the Manston airport site for use as a lorry park to cope with possible post-Brexit jams at the Port of Dover which is contracted to run until December 31, 2020.
Permission was received today.
Completion of the transaction, which means RSP subsidiary RiverOak MSE owns more than 95% of the site wanted for the airport plans, took place at 7.30pm.
SHP had owned 742 acres of the site which totals around 770 acres with plots belonging to other interested parties. RSP paid the firm £16.5million for the site. SHP had previously submitted a planning application to create up to 3,700 homes, business and leisure and associated infrastructure.
A Planning Inspectorate panel, led by Kelvin McDonald, has been examining the Development Consent Order bid being made by RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) to acquire the site and create the cargo hub.
That examination, which opened in January, concluded today.
The DCO is still needed for the cargo hub project with a decision from the Secretary of State expected by January 2020. However, the compulsory purchase part of the application for the SHP owned land – equating to 98% of the site – is now defunct, although other landowners will still need to be compensated.
Issues surrounding national need, night flights and noise and blight compensation still need to be considered under the DCO process.
The land sale deal means SHP will withdraw its objection to the DCO. It will also withdraw its two outstanding planning applications for housing and mixed use on Manston and will no longer participate in the Local Plan Enquiry.
Tony Freudmann, of RSP, said: “We completed our transaction at 7.30pm. It is a great feeling.”
If the flax and hemp of Riga are purchased with the tobacco of Virginia, which had been purchased with British manufactures, the merchant must wait for the returns of two distinct foreign trades before he can employ the same capital in re-purchasing a like quantity of British manufactures. If the tobacco of Virginia had been purchased, not with British manufactures, but with the sugar and rum of Jamaica which had been purchased with those manufactures, he must wait for the returns of three. If those two or three distinct foreign trades should happen to be carried on by two or three distinct merchants, of whom the second buys the goods imported by the first, and the third buys those imported by the second, in order to export them again, each merchant indeed will in this case receive the returns of his own capital more quickly; but the final returns of the whole capital employed in the trade will be just as slow as ever. Whether the whole capital employed in such a round-about trade belong to one merchant or to three can make no difference with regard to the country, though it may with regard to the particular merchants. Three times a greater capital must in both cases be employed in order to exchange a certain value of British manufactures for a certain quantity of flax and hemp than would have been necessary had the manufactures and the flax and hemp been directly exchanged for one another. The whole capital employed, therefore, in such a round-about foreign trade of consumption will generally give less encouragement and support to the productive labour of the country than an equal capital employed in a more direct trade of the same kind.
The Local Plan proposes substantial Green Belt boundary alterations
to enable land to come forward for development. National Policy
sets out that Green Belt boundaries should only be altered in
exceptional circumstances. The nature and extent of the harm to
the Green Belt and the effect on the Green Belt objectives must be
considered in the assessment as to whether exceptional
circumstances are demonstrated.
13. As set out in our Initial Question 16, in seeking to re-draw the
Green Belt boundary we would expect to see that the Council has
followed a two- staged approach. Stage 1 concerns the evidence
gathering and assessment that leads to an in principle decision that
a review of the GB boundary may be justified to help meet
development needs in a sustainable way. It is set out at paragraph
137 of the National Planning Policy Framework (the Framework) and
requires the Council to demonstrate that it has examined fully all
other reasonable options for meeting its identified need for
14. Step 1 of this staged approach requires a thorough investigation of
the capacity of the existing urban areas (suitable brownfield sites
and underutilised land) and whether this has been maximised
having regard to optimising densities. Subtracting this from the
OAHN figure leaves the amount of development that cannot be
accommodated within the urban areas. This process also needs to
be informed by discussions with neighbouring authorities about
whether they could accommodate some of the identified need. Step
2 involves considering if there is any non-Green Belt rural land
which could meet any of the unmet need (steps 1 and 2 are
recognised at paragraph 12.1.6 of the St Albans Green Belt Review
15. Together these steps give a scale of unmet need which could only
be met by Green Belt release and are necessary to determine
whether the review of the Green Belt is justified in principle. Stage
2 then determines which sites would best meet the identified need
having regard to Green Belt harm and other relevant considerations
including whether they are suitably located and developable. All
these factors are then considered to reach a conclusion as to
whether exceptional circumstances exist for each of the individual
Green Belt releases.
20. As previously requested, this information needs presenting in a
Green Belt Topic paper to cover the stages, steps and questions set
out above, in order to enable our understanding of the Council’s
rationale and approach with regards to this important matter.