COUNCILLOR Tudor Evans was the council leader at the time the 150-year peppercorn lease for Plymouth airport was signed in 2000 between Sutton Harbour Holdings (SHH)and the City Council. That lease contained the Armageddon clause and perhaps more pertinently, given the recent proposals for the airport land, the right for the council to receive receipts of 75 per cent of the uplift in value from any land sales by SHH.
In 2009 the city council granted planning permission for a number of airport improvement works that were to be carried out in two phases. These works and the consequent safeguarding of the future of the airport was to be achieved by granting residential consent for up to 375 homes and the subsequent sale of that land to developers. (Planning application ref: 08/01968/OUT). The officer's report of April 30, 2009, confirmed that if the development package did not progress the future of the airport was at stake. It made reference to the phased airport improvement works being 'guaranteed' by the s106 agreement.
In view of the above, it would be most instructive to learn from the council:
Whether they received any of the reported money received by Sutton Harbour for the sale of part of the airport land for residential development.
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Whether any of the legally required Phase 1 and Phase 2 airport improvement works set out in the s106 agreement attached to the s106 agreement have all been done? If not what has happened to the money allocated by Sutton Harbour for those works as that money could most usefully be spent by the council/Viable or another private sector operative in bringing the airport back to use.
Have all the terms of the s106 obligation been met?
When Sutton Harbour Holdings got planning permission they did not have to contribute towards the normal affordable homes requirement of 30 per cent (which equates to around 118 homes and a substantial multi-million pound cost saving) because of the cost of the airport enhancement works. The company argued that it would render the development unviable if affordable housing also had to be provided. What has happened to that money saved if it has not been used in providing the guaranteed airport enhancement works?
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