Kent

Thanet council rejects Manston Airport purchase plans

Manston Airport
Image caption Manston Airport closed in May 2014 with the loss of 150 jobs

A council has rejected plans for it to buyout Manston Airport, going against a key election pledge.

Thanet District Council voted against proceeding with the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) that was backed by US firm RiverOak, during a noisy meeting.

The cabinet's decision followed legal advice from lawyers representing the council.

Chris Wells, the authority's UKIP leader, insisted there was interest from four other investors.

He was subjected to jeers from people in the public gallery and criticism from other councillors after he told the meeting: "We're not discussing whether a CPO should go ahead - we're discussing whether Riveroak is a suitable indemnity partner."

Conservative councillor Ken Gregory said: "Don't promise the electorate things you don't have the power and will to deliver."

A key UKIP election pledge in May was its commitment to the reopening of Manston.

Earlier this month, the party lost overall control of the council after a fifth councillor, unhappy with its lack of action over the airport issue, defected.

RiverOak, which had been seeking to purchase and reopen Manston Airport, which closed in May 2014, has not yet commented on the decision.

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