Thanet Star

Is it just Airport vs Houses in Manston?

Is our only choice for Manston between a CPO and houses?

On the one hand you have Riveroak who are willing to run Manston as a viable airport and on the other you have a group of companies of questionable ethics, liquidity and viability offering us another out of town private town centre.

I look at the mediocrity that Westwood Cross is and the plans to develop a new town with a private high street. That has hardly been the roaring success that was predicted and what little success it did build was at the cost of Margate high street. Even here we rarely balance the loss of jobs against the gain as usually the person doing the presenting is pushing for or against something.

It's all well and good to say that a new project will produce jobs but the real question we need to start asking is will it produce a net increase in jobs or just move the ones we already have about a bit.

Manston offers us the chance of new business at the cost of overhead noise or the more houses and business buildings at the potential cost of businesses elsewhere nearby and an influx of more people who will be looking for work.

Neither option is perfect, far from it, but one of those options adds a net gain for the cost it brings. Which ever the result is Thanet will have a price to pay.

Perhaps there are other options but if there are I have no idea what they are. Even if some third choice could be found there will still be a price for Thanet to pay. We just have to insist that it is the right price for the right gain.

Value for money, in other words.

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