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SuMA ‘shocked’ by KCC Manston airport report

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Campaigners lobbying to reopen the airport have criticised KCC’s report

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THE Supporters of Manston Airport campaign group (SuMA) has said it is “shocked, but not surprised” by the Kent County Council report , which claimed it was time for a “Plan B” for the site.

In a 15-page “position statement” released on Monday, the county council said it had given airport operators more than £1million in financial assistance

The report also said owners have lost a total of £100million since commercial flights began at the former RAF base 16 years ago.

SuMA has slammed county council leader Paul Carter over the report. Cllr Carter has given his support to plans by owners Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave for a multi-use redevelopment or the site.

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In a statement, the group said: “The Supporters of Manston Airport group are shocked, but not surprised, that Paul Carter continues to be completely dismissive of the airport and the benefits it could bring both regionally and nationally.

“Mr Carter continues to publicly champion Mr Cartner and Mr Musgrave’s vision for the airport despite admitting, when being put under scrutiny by MPs at the Select Committee this year, that he had never actually seen any plans.

“This comes after the Transport Committee branded Paul Carter’s remarks as “inconsistent” and questioned his support of the proposed development of the site by Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave.

“Furthermore, Mr Carter seems to be in complete opposition to the plans set forward by his Conservative colleagues Sir Roger Gale MP, PPC Craig Mackinlay and other leading Conservatives including Transport Minister John Hayes MP and Conservative party chairman Grant Shapps.

“Finally, we are concerned that the report seems to pre-empt the decision of the review in progress, contracted by the government last week to PricewaterhouseCoopers.”

The Department for Transport appointed PwC were appointed last week to review decisions taken so far on the future of Manston Airport. A report to the department is expected in May.

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