RSP urged to come clean with the public in access discussions

Stone Hill Park, owners of the former Manston airfield, have outlined a series of questions they want answering before allowing the Belize-funded RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) to access their land.

RSP have indicated they wish to access the land to carry out surveys required before they can made an application for a Development Consent Order (DCO).

DCOs are used to authorise certain types of Infrastructure project deemed to be nationally significant. If granted, they may include powers forcing the sale of land to the promoter of the project.

As part of the process, RSP must consult with Stone Hill Park to see whether access can be agreed without the Secretary of State having to make a ruling.

Access was previously granted to the US based RiverOak Investment Corporation but that company has now ditched its plans and withdrawn. The completely separate company, RSP, which is 90% owned by the Belize-registered MIO Investments, is now seeking access.

Ray Mallon, spokesman for Stone Hill Park, said: “It’s clear that the general public and airport supporters are as confused about what has been going on as we are.

“What is clear is that the US-based RiverOak have now ditched their plans. That’s not surprising as previous owners and various studies have concluded an airport is not viable.

“We are willing to discuss access to our site with RSP but there are a number of key questions that need answering first. RSP and high profile backers, including Sir Roger Gale MP, can speed things up by providing these answers immediately.”

The questions Stone Hill Park are asking include:

  • Why does RSP continue to call itself RiverOak when they are not affiliated to the US-based RiverOak Investment Corporation (ROIC) that pulled out of the airport project in December 2016?

  • Why did RSP not tell their supporters and key stakeholders in local and national government (Sir Roger, Thanet District Council, Planning Inspectorate etc) of ROIC’s withdrawal from the project when it happened in December 2016?

  • At the meeting with the Planning Inspectorate in January 2016, why did Messrs Yerrall, Lawlor and Freudmann fail to disclose that they no longer represented ROIC but instead represented the completely separate company RSP ?

  • Why did RSP not apply for s53 access rights in July 2016 when the company was formed? Why wait until April 2017?

  • The Belize registered MIO Investments now own 90% of RSP, what does MIO stand for?

  • Who are the lead investors in MIO?

  • Who will be funding the estimated £320m cost of establishing a viable airport?

  • MIO Investments was registered in Belize in October 2016 purportedly as a specific funding vehicle for the investment in the Manston Airport project. Why were the Planning Inspectorate, the public and key stakeholders in national and local Government not informed about this until April 2017?

  • Given the well publicised concerns about the lack of financial rigour and openness within Belize banking, why does RSP feel the Belize connection is acceptable for a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project in the UK?

  • Since the US-based ROIC has not succeeded with the DCO application, will Sir Roger Gale be standing down, as he publicly declared he would in October 2016?

  • Is Sir Roger Gale as supportive of the Belize-registered MIO Investments as he was of the US-based RiverOak Investment Corporation?

  • The recent planning inquiry heard how the RSP plans equate to 85 passenger and cargo planes everyday over Thanet by 2040 (17,000 freight only flights plus 1.4m passengers pa). On what dates will the public be consulted on this?