Kent CC accused of turning its back on Thanet over Manston airport

 

Kent CC has been taken to task by an influential group of MPs for not supporting Thanet District Council enough over the compulsory purchase of Manston airport.

Local campaigners petitioned Thanet DC after the closure of the airport last May, asking the authority to make a compulsory purchase order (CPO).

In December, the council decided not to proceed with a CPO depite considering using US investment firm RiverOak as the indemnity partner leaving former owner Ann Gloag, co-founder of the Stagecoach Group, free to sell a majority stake of the 700-acre site to regeneration specialists for redevelopment.

In a recent report by the transport select committee, MPs said the county council had ‘failed to fulfil its strategic oversight function as the local transport authority’.

‘We expect higher-tier local government bodies to fulfil their strategic oversight functions by supporting local planning authorities in resolving one-off, complex cases involving nationally significant transport assets,’ the report states.

‘Kent CC has the legal and financial resources to assess complex CPO cases. Despite having agreed a motion to support Thanet DC, it failed to deploy those assets.’

The MPs also called on Ms Gloag to publish details of he deal with the new owners to counter claims of asset stripping.

Regeneration specialists Chris Musgrave and Trevor Cartner told the BBC their stake ‘gives us a controlling interest, and future redevelopment rests with us’.

Ms Gloag's stake ‘in no way gives her control over the site or the joint venture company, though she will benefit from the successful redevelopment’ they added.

The committee welcomed the Department for Transport's decision to appoint a consultant to examine the Manston case but criticised the department for taking three months to act.

‘To ensure that similar cases are handled promptly and effectively in future, the Government should clarify precisely how (a) central Government and (b) higher-tier local authorities are responsible for supporting lower-tier planning authorities in cases where a strategic transport asset is subject to a proposed compulsory purchase order,’ the report adds.

It also states ministers should review what powers they have to intervene when a strategic transport asset is at risk and whether those powers are fit for purpose.

In response to the report, Kent CC leader Paul Carter said: ‘We've done everything we could possibly have done in helping and supporting Thanet DC.’

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Definitive Map Manager

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
This role is based within the Highways Service at Cambridgeshire County Council and provides an unusual and... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Bridge Park Operations Manager

Brent Council
£38,799 - £41,706 p.a. inc.
This is an exciting opportunity to play a key role in managing the operations and contributing towards the... Brentford (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Assistant Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,074 - £30,756
A great opportunity for someone looking to start or develop a career in Highways Engineering including the... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Head of Strategic Transport

Cheshire East Council
£64,000 - £75,000 + benefits
We’re committed to “working for a brighter future together” – and we expect you to be too! Cheshire
Recuriter: Cheshire East Council

Regeneration Manager

Mole Valley District Council
£52,895 - £57,143 FTE
This is a great career opportunity to specialise in town centre regeneration and repositioning. Dorking, Surrey
Recuriter: Mole Valley District Council

Technical Services Officer (Mechanical)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£36,876 - £38,813
This is an exciting and challenging time for Kirklees and we want to expand our team to manage and deliver construction... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Road and Footway Asset Engineer

Kent County Council
£28,925 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the Road and Footway Asset Team as an Asset Engineer. Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Head of Waste

Lincolnshire County Council
£65,651 - £70,725
As Head of Waste, you will be commercially focussed and forward-thinking. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Assistant Director

Reading Borough Council
Up to £92k
It’s the ideal time to take the lead on our modernisation agenda, and deliver growth in the trading of our front line services. Reading, Berkshire
Recuriter: Reading Borough Council

Assistant Director – Highways

Lincolnshire County Council
£82,264 - £107,878
Come and lead the future agenda for our highways services. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

County Highways Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
Seeking a highly motivated leader and an excellent communicator, who has a proven ability to build relationships and trust, leading by example. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Local Highways Manager (East) - Lincolnshire County Council

Lincolnshire County Council
G12 £43,662 - £50,430
Seeking someone who combines excellent technical knowledge with a dedication to the customer. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council