Thanet DC has agreed to seek legal and financial advice over issuing a compulsory purchase order (CPO) for the Manston Airport site, reversing a decision taken last December.
Following the airport’s closure in May 2014 with the loss of 150 jobs, the council rejected plans for a CPO last year on the basis that no suitable expression of interest for an indemnity partner had been found and the authority did not have the cash to pursue the CPO on its own.
However the district's cabinet was persuaded to revisit the decision at a meeting on Tuesday evening.
The authority will now ‘commission specialist legal and finance advice to determine whether RiverOak are a suitable indemnity partner and also instruct them to provide advice on the indemnity agreement and CPO process generally’.
A report presented to the cabinet argued the authority ‘needs further advice and information if it is to satisfy itself that RiverOak fulfils the requirements as an indemnity partner’.
The report also reveals that ‘the estimated costs of the basic commissioned works are circa £10,000 plus additional costs for financial advice and counsel fees and there may be further costs if the matter becomes unduly complex or protracted’.
‘Where the value of a contract exceeds £10,000 under the Council’s Contract Standing Orders we are required to get at least three written quotes in advance. The further review and specialist legal and financial advice is required to ensure that the Council’s legal obligations in terms of probity, procurement, compulsory purchase and governance are met.’
The report followed a recommendation in May from the full council that the decision be reconsidered.
Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave, who hold the majority stake in the site, have revealed plans to use the former airport for housing, commercial premises and leisure activities.
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