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Manston airport: Second day of auction to make much more than £100,000 of first day as councillors prepare to debate purchase

By Chris Price

More equipment from Manston airport is going under the hammer in the second day of an auction by its owners.

Kent Facilities Limited are estimated to have made more than £100,000 in the first day after selling 330 lots.

The remaining 371 lots will fetch much more today, featuring items like an aircraft de-icer valued at more than £92,000 and several fire engines, some already attracting bids of more than £35,000.

Lots up for auction from Manston airport

At a meeting tonight, Thanet District Council will decide whether to begin the process of forcing its owners to sell the site to them, known as a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO).

They may also seek an injunction on any more sales of assets.

Their decision will be partly based on an independent report released this week by Falconry Consultancy, which has been widely criticised for not gathering evidence widely enough.

North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale has urged councillors to proceed with the CPO.

He said: “If the council decides not to proceed I fear the moment may be lost.

Sir Roger Gale MP

“I would ignore the report completely because I believe the brief the consultants were given was very narrow and inadequate.

“They satisfied the brief they were given but have not taken into account important factors, making this a recipe for delay.

“The report was based upon solely other reports prepared by Thanet District Council and the airport owners.

“What is being sold now is old equipment which wouldn’t keep the airport open..." - Save Manston's Keith Churcher

“It took no account of views of people like myself and no one made contact with RiverOak [the company which made three bids to buy the site] to discuss the offer they made initially or the further offer they have made to Thanet District Council.

“RiverOak will not wait forever.”

Save Manston chairman Keith Churcher will speak at the council meeting this evening.

He said: “They can’t go with the study because it is fundamentally flawed.

“We hope the council proceeds with a CPO so we can get an injunction through to stop this asset selling.

“What is being sold now is old equipment which wouldn’t keep the airport open.

“An injunction would stop the scorched earth policy of selling everything so it can never be an airport again.”

To follow the auction, click here.

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