Over the last year representatives of Stone Hill Park have engaged with City investor Edi Truell. During that time, Stone Hill Park have re-iterated their plans for a mixed development of the site; made clear they are not interested in selling the site and highlighted extensive evidence that an airport is not viable.
The view of Stone Hill Park has not changed one bit in the months since and certainly not in the wake of Mr Truell’s plan to carry out a viability plan into the use of Manston as an airport. This is the latest in a series of studies that have been carried out in recent years, all of which have reached the same conclusion – a commercial airport at this location is not viable.
Stone Hill Park spokesman Ray Mallon, said:
“Every reputable study that has been carried out on the site in recent years has concluded that aviation is not viable and I’m sure the result will be the same in this case.
“As we said in November, Mr Truell to date has not indicated who it is he actually represents or what financial backing he has to fund development projects.
“The website of his company, Disruptive Capital, makes no reference in the company portfolio to any aviation experience.
“Representatives of Stone Hill Park met with him last year out of courtesy, as we have done with various other speculators.
“We informed Mr Truell of the extensive work that has been carried out analysing possible futures for this site and the clear conclusion from past history, independent studies and industry experts alike that an airport is not viable.
“Stone Hill Park outlined to Mr Truell our vision for a mixed-use development of the site to bring much needed jobs and homes to the area. This vision has now progressed to firm plans which have been lodged with Thanet District Council and are available for all to see.
“These plans envisage a carefully planned development of 2,500 homes built over a 15-20 year period and offering choice across the housing spectrum from first time buyer to executive self-build.
“The planned new social infrastructure includes two new schools, a medical centre and community facilities.
“In addition, the plans include an advanced manufacturing park and large scale sports facilities with a third of the site reserved for parkland, trails and new open space.
“Land has already been gifted to the heritage museums and a number of key features linked to the site’s aviation past will be retained.
Stone Hill Park rejected the advances from Mr Truell because, as we have maintained from the outset of our ownership of the site, it is not viable as an airport and anyone who invested in such a scheme – whether it was their own cash or other people’s pensions – would lose their money.
The key difference between ourselves and speculators is that we own the site, we have the funds, we are regeneration experts and we can deliver immediately. We believe our plans are likely to be heard by Thanet District Council’s Planning Committee this Spring. If they are passed, we will get started on site before the end of the year.”