Home   Thanet   News   Article

RiverOak reportedly deposits $2 million into account after Thanet council demands proof of Manston Airport buyout

Thanet council's final demand to a US firm for crucial financial information as it aims to buy Manston airport has reportedly been answered with a $2 million (£1.3m) bank transfer.

RiverOak, which has stated its intention to pay all costs of a compulsory purchase order to reopen the airfield, made a decision to deposit the cash on Monday after being asked for proof it is able to buy the site.

The council made a final request to RiverOak's solicitors last week to provide information it said the company had promised them in early July.

Manston Airport
Manston Airport

Supporters of Manston Airport chairman Ruth Bailey said: "We can now confirm that RiverOak have deposited $2 million (£1.3m) into their solicitors client’s account.

"This will be topped up to £2 million and moved into an escrow account as soon as the indemnity agreement is signed.

"This initial tranche of money will be available to draw on during the expected and imminent decision to compulsory purchase Manston airport with RiverOak being identified as the indemnity partner."

Ms Bailey added: "These funds are accompanied by the reiterated reassurance, given by one of the country's leading legal teams James Maurici QC of London's Landmark Chambers, that there will be no personal financial or legal risk to either councillors or officers.

Ruth Bailey
Ruth Bailey

"The Supporters of Manston Airport are of the opinion that RiverOak have now provided all the reassurances, information and funds necessary at this stage and see no reason why the CPO cannot now be expedited at the earliest opportunity."

North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale said: "This is a very positive step forward and now it should be possible for the directors of RiverOak and the leader of the council and their lawyers to discuss points of finer tuning before settling an indemnity agreement.

"This is simply the money needed to pay for the process of the CPO up to the point of a public inquiry.

"RiverOak has been pursuing this CPO relentlessly for 15 months, they have spent thousands of pounds and have money in the bank to meet Thanet council's costs and agreed to pay the money used under the last council administration."

North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale
North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale

A council statement last week said: "As part of its commitment to review the position on the Manston airport site, Thanet District Council has issued a final request to Riveroak’s solicitors for the financial evidence promised by the company in early July.

"The council reopened discussions with RiverOak following a Cabinet decision on 14 July which recommended the council review its position.

"Since that time, the council has corresponded with RiverOak to try to establish whether they could be considered a suitable indemnity partner for a compulsory purchase order on the site.

"The council cannot take forward any decision to appoint an indemnity partner until it is satisfied that there is evidence that the finances, or guaranteed access to finances, required to underwrite a CPO (compulsory purchase order) process are in place."

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More