Thursday, 12 June 2014

Margate Manston and the truth

Will we ever know the truth as to who said what and why Manston has become the target of so much mystery. I have said before Stagecoach Ann Gloags accounting  principles over this whole issue are to my mind dubious, to buy a company you are already involved with to write off their debts against your tax seems dodgy but then I have no faith in HMRC  seem to cosy up to those who don't pay and  use heavy boy tactics  closing down Thanet Press putting dozens of employees on the dole at far greater cost than the tax owed. But then I am only a tax payer not a tax collector. Evidently the fire engines and the Radar are being or have been sold off and any removable assets will be got rid of before the runway is cold. This is callus asset stripping by a ruthless orginisation who has made their millions out of the government with grants to do so handed out by politicians who have no experience of a days work in their lives but run the country with cavalier abandon dishing out grants to pals left right and centre. I feel failed by National and Local Governance but what can be done? A CPO will mean we buy the land back then the radar and then the fire engines etc before anything is done about flying from Manston again. If I had my way I would put a preservation listing on the airport so it could never be built upon that to me would give just deserts to those greedy individuals trying to sell Thanet out under our feet.


  1. Although I agree with a lot you say on the government side of things Manston has had 15 years of failure as a Ramsgate resident I can only see Manstons closure as a good thing Ramsgate was being left behind no investment and house prices that at the best of times being flat now we can see the green shoots of a recovery with investment starting to show its welcomed face. I know a lot of people have lost their jobs and pro-manston supporters are calling for a CPO to be put on the Manston site but this will never happen the cost would be unjustifiable and would put all the residents at risk of having no real public services and TDC being bankrupt and having to sell off many of its assets so think about what you are saying would you really want this just for an airport that has been losing shed loads of money for year and that all reports say its not a viable option for the airline industry.

  2. You claim that Manston Airport is "not a viable option for the airline industry" So why were the KLM flights to Schiphol hub in Amsterdam so successful until they were asked to leave by the airport owner ?

    The original claimed intention by the owner was to develop Manson Airport for at least two years.
    Manston Skyport Ltd took over the running of the airport on 29 November 2013
    On 19 March 2014, it was announced that a 45-day consultation period into the closure of the airport had begun
    A total period of 167 days = 5 months, 2 weeks, 2 days.
    Is that the behaviour of someone trying to make a go of Manston Airport ? Where ever did you see an advert by the Manston Airport operator ? Did any Kentish travel agents even know the airport was an option ?

    Over 15,000 people have signed a "Save Manston Airport" petition in support of Manston Airport which has been a remarkably fast, efficient, friendly and convenient airport to use, and to work at.

    You say there is a risk of "… TDC being bankrupt and having to sell off many of its assets …."
    Have you not been listening ? - The owner turned down an offer of the full asking price of £7 million - there is a firm with £7 million of readies to pick up the tab :

    “RiverOak has developed a long term plan to own and manage Manston as an airport ......"
    “It remains committed to investing in and developing Manston as a successful diversified aviation services, cargo and potential future passenger airport facility, and values Manston as an important piece of aviation infrastructure that is very important to both Kent specifically and the United Kingdom in general. ...."

    So I say to you all go sign the TDC petition for a Compulsory Purchase Order and get Manston back up as a working airport - you can now do this on paper :
    petition cpo pdf.pdf :
    Or on-line :

    Dr. Beau Webber
    Lab-Tools Ltd., Canterbury & Ramsgate

    Save Manston Airport group :

  3. The KLM flights were not making money for the airport owners, and all other major airlines have looked at Manston and gone elsewhere. Everybody now has faced the truth that Manston can never function has a viable passenger airport - it may well have been remarkably fast, efficient, friendly and convenient for the relative few that used it, but with a catchment area of this side of Maidstone it's never going to turn a profit.

    The current owners bought, hired the right people, but the writing was on the wall. A successful business owner isn't going to let money slip through their fingers indefinitely. Did the rational thing and close it.

    15,000 people have indeed signed it, but with many reports of nimbys from other airport or potential airport sites in Kent, indeed the self-proclaimed leader comes from Rochester of all places - you certainly have to question his motivation for wanting Manston to thrive.

    Have you not been listening? There is £23 million debt attached to the site, plus the owners running costs, plus compensation if a CPO happened to be successful. Don't know where an asking price of £7 million came from - Gale by any chance? RiverOak are a property investment company first and foremost.

    If TDC think they can find the millions to prop up a hundred or so part-time jobs, I think considerable thought and effort needs to go into exploring other options which have a significantly better chance of job creation without the associated financial risk or negative environmental impact of the airport.

    I find it astonishing that the same people who slag off TDC for their incompetence in practically every aspect of their duties, from litter collection to any dealings they've had with other businesses (Pleasurama, TransEuropa, etc.), suddenly think they're the right people to manage a CPO and subsequent running of an airport.

    So I'll decline your offer of blindly supporting a CPO.

  4. Anon 20:45 I think you will find the £23.00 million is a wrap of of debts draw from the sale of Prestwick passed on to Manston plus Manstons Debts and Infratils Debts which Stagecoach are in cahoots with. The financial aspect needs thorough investigation as to me rolling all these debts up stagecoach get a write off and reduce their Tax obligations. All very fishy to me but in accountant speak HMRC wont get tax on a huge write off. Maybe a couple of new schools worth on tax not paid by the clever accounting on Gloag's accounts. And then they want to build houses on the site in my opinion there will be a grant in the pipeline and our Government will end up paying for the houses and the build houses for free and get 100% profit call me a sceptic but this whole busines stinks.

  5. Dr & don
    Your facts are wrong please look them up.
    A CPO on manston would cost £600 million do you really think its worth it and before you say where did i get that figure from thats how much she would be compensated by a court £300 million for the land and £300 million for the loss in profit that she would have made on the houses.

  6. Unfortunately Purple Om, you tell others to check the facts when you use none and quote figures blindly, unless you are an expert in the field?

    CPO is based on the open market value, and may be based on the existing use of the property. Now, OK that is a "may" at the moment.

    You cannot "guess" figures for potential development where no existing permission for it exists, nor are there any signs of it existing.

    If there is a disagreement on this, the local planning authority can provide a Certificate of Appropriate Alternative Development, which will confirm if the planning consent would have been granted. All current indications are that this would not be granted.

    I acknowledge your rights not to support your local area, or perhaps you are really only worried about your little world, which is a shame. A lot more of us think of others around us in this life, and want something better than just house developers making money at our expense.

  7. As a brownfield site is its classification its not a airport without e/p its on a 106 agreement so there is a very strong argument for planning to be granted if TDC dont grant planning she will appeal and win costing even more money there is already a application for 0.3 of the site and as we type she is drawing up plans for the rest as for me plucking figures out of the air im not the figures come from experts not me.

  8. Anon 23:43 Nice sentiments about supporting your local area and thinking about the others in the area. Are you serious? When I moved to Ramsgate 8 years ago it was done in full knowledge of being under the flight path. I was born on an RAF camp, I like planes, it didn't bother me and would have supported it as a regional airport. However ever since Infratil started bigging it up, and spreading lies about the employment potential and number of flights it could achieve and how it needed night flights to compete, taking in cargo planes that were banned in most other airports, encouraging flight paths that avoided the noise monitors, etc, etc. my opinions changed. Combined with the attitude of Bayford at the time who was prepared to give the airport anything they wanted and to hell with any health or environmental impacts. Plus the baying and jeering from airport supporters, most of whom don't live in Ramsgate, or indeed Thanet but instead of questioning the facts simply shouted 'nimby', 'move', 'this is nothing compared to when the yeanks were here', blardy blah. I've grown to resent the airport, or rather it's supporters, who claim that anyone who is not prepared to suffer the impact of night flights is being selfish in not supporting a hundred or so poorly paid part-time jobs. I've known loads of people who've given Ramsgate a wide berth who'd wanted to move here, invest here and make it a better place but have not considered it knowing that while there's an airport here there will always be the issue of night flights being forced on the town by people who think this is the cure-all and why Manston has failed in the past. Anything on that site would be a better proposition than the airport. And any sentimentality about it's heritage should be put aside, as successive owners have trodden all that into the ground.

  9. Not sure where the application is, as it doesn't appear on the planning portal. Yes there has been some behind the scenes talk about it in principle, but that is all it appears to be so far.

    Am I serious? Yes. Am I local? Yes. Please don't be cause of that inaccuracy spreading.

    100 jobs? That isn't considering connected businesses, is it?

    No-one is defending Infratil, far from it. All seems very tangled web.

  10. 8.36
    So well said I live in Ramsgate and thats exactly my feelings.


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