Kent

Manston Airport reopening decision delayed until July

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

A decision on the proposed reopening and development of Manston Airport has been delayed, the government has announced.

RiverOak Strategic Partners bought the site in Kent, which has been closed since May 2014, and announced plans in 2018 to restart short-haul and cargo flights in spring 2022.

A decision was due on Monday.

But transport minister Andrew Stephenson confirmed earlier it had been pushed back until 10 July.

In a written statement released earlier, he said this would "enable further work to be carried out before determination of the application".

Under the plans the former Battle of Britain airfield would be turned into a "global freight hub".

North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale said the delay was "frustrating, if necessary".

He added: "I continue to look for a positive outcome that will confirm investor confidence and facilitate the commitment of £300m of job-creating funds to the development of an environmentally world-leading international freight hub and passenger facility.

"This will send a clear signal that a post-Covid, post-Brexit Britain will be very much back in business."

Since its closure Manston had been earmarked for 2,500 new homes, but the proposal was rejected by Thanet District Council.

Earlier this year the site was tested as a potential lorry park to be used in the event of post-Brexit congestion at the cross-Channel ports.

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