Halt airport auction and explore options
I HAVE been carefully following the stories appearing in The Herald regarding the airport and feel that I can no longer ignore this issue.
I would like some simple answers to some questions. How could a private development company with shareholders be allowed to take on the lease for the airport, with the proviso that if it was found that not enough businesses were using the airport this same company could close the airport and start to sell off the land and assets?
Where was the incentive to make the airport a success when it was always going to be worth more as land? How was it that the airport was closed in December and the house building was started at the same time? Surely planning applications for development of this size takes longer than a few days. When was the decision to close the airport made? If my information is correct the proceeds from the sale of land etc is split with 75 per cent going to the council and the other 25 per cent going to SHH. When did the people of Plymouth agree to prop up financially a private company?
It would seem to me that the Viable group believes that there is a way forward to reopening the airport. Whether or not this is the case, I believe the council owes it to the people of Plymouth to allow it to take its course. The haste with which SHH are trying to sell off the office furniture suggests to me that they also believe that if a company which wanted the airport to survive was given the chance it might just manage it.
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I call upon the new city administration to put a stop to the auction now and put on hold any other plans for development SHH may produce until all other options have been explored.