£1 million fine postponed after airport failed to carry out repairs

£1 million fine postponed after airport failed to carry out repairs

£1 million fine postponed after airport failed to carry out repairs

First published in News by , Business editor

An airport operator which has failed to carry out repairs and renovations is set to have a £1 million fine postponed.

Albemarle Shoreham Airport Limited was required to make £4 million of improvements to the art deco terminal building and municipal hangar at Shoreham Airport after it took on the leasehold in 2008.

The company is now liable to pay £1 million to Brighton and Hove City Council and Worthing Council, joint own- ers of the airport, for failing to make any improvements by the deadline of October 2013.

However, city council officers have stated that Albemarle would become insolvent if the sum was demanded, which could leave the airport falling into the hands of another Albemarle- linked firm or a bank.

Brighton and Hove City Council and Worthing Borough Council have now put forward a set of recommendations, with council officers rec- ommending the fine be postponed.

Another recommended proposal is that Albemarle would surrender the lease and oper- ating of the airport to Brighton City Airport Ltd (BCAL).

The directors of BCAL, who are also directors of Flying Time Aviation (FTA), have claimed that with the right investment the airport could be profitable and have presented details of
their business plan to officers of both councils.

Under the proposal Albemarle would be granted a long lease of areas on the eastern and western edge of the site for development.

Council officers are recommending the proposals be agreed at a policy and resources committee meeting on Thursday, May 1.

The deferment of £1 million until May 31 will allow for the negotiations to conclude. Jemima Bland, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for East Worthing and Shoreham, is leading a campaign to have the terminal building made a community asset.

Campaigners have also raised concerns about the future of the land which is on a flood plain.

Ms Bland said: “If these pro- posals go ahead, Brighton and Hove City Council and Wor- thing Borough Council will have a joint financial interest in seeing flood plains built on as soon as possible. This is not what they were elected for.

“The community must step in now, to protect our own interests in the future of the airport and flood plain.”

A spokesman for BCAL said it was not possible or appro- priate to comment as sensitive negotiations are currently taking place.

Comments (6)

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11:28am Fri 25 Apr 14

Benji.uk says...

Sounds similar to Plymouth airport...
Developer buys airport with no intent on making it viable and strangely have plans for developing the site!
While taking anything it can and not doing the requirements of the lease!
Sounds similar to Plymouth airport... Developer buys airport with no intent on making it viable and strangely have plans for developing the site! While taking anything it can and not doing the requirements of the lease! Benji.uk
  • Score: 0

12:02pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Indigatio says...

This stinks.
This stinks. Indigatio
  • Score: 2

6:54pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Slapintheface says...

This is a Joke!! take it from me this story is rubbish. Both Brighton and Hove City Council and Worthing Borough Council have been completely miss lead! Albemarle are sitting on a vast property empire with the ability to refinance and draw on capital reserves. The puppet managers at the airport have there own agendas here. BCAL would only take over airside business as they reduce the landing fees for there aviation training section of business Flying time again they have there agenda. Truffles have already tried to purchase the cafe and where declined. They have been the only investors in this building and have done a sterling job regenerating it This needs to be looked at by the councils in depth and not pushed aside. A full investigation is whats needed. Maybe we should all tell the council we cant afford our council tax maybe they will accept that from us?? they seem to be more than accommodating of Albemarle
This is a Joke!! take it from me this story is rubbish. Both Brighton and Hove City Council and Worthing Borough Council have been completely miss lead! Albemarle are sitting on a vast property empire with the ability to refinance and draw on capital reserves. The puppet managers at the airport have there own agendas here. BCAL would only take over airside business as they reduce the landing fees for there aviation training section of business Flying time again they have there agenda. Truffles have already tried to purchase the cafe and where declined. They have been the only investors in this building and have done a sterling job regenerating it This needs to be looked at by the councils in depth and not pushed aside. A full investigation is whats needed. Maybe we should all tell the council we cant afford our council tax maybe they will accept that from us?? they seem to be more than accommodating of Albemarle Slapintheface
  • Score: 3

7:02pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Slapintheface says...

for people with short memories and round we go again

http://www.theargus.
co.uk/news/2200340.c
onfusion_but_shoreha
m_airport_is_reopene
d/
for people with short memories and round we go again http://www.theargus. co.uk/news/2200340.c onfusion_but_shoreha m_airport_is_reopene d/ Slapintheface
  • Score: 2

4:08am Sat 26 Apr 14

John Steed says...

campaigners have worries because its built on a flood plain! are these worried people aware its the oldest licensed airfeild in the UK and the river was there since time immemorial, the airfield has not suffered as such from flooding, it suffered from incompetant management and ownership by councils, and being run by commitees. there is no excuse for the current operators not to have complied with the terms of their lease,
campaigners have worries because its built on a flood plain! are these worried people aware its the oldest licensed airfeild in the UK and the river was there since time immemorial, the airfield has not suffered as such from flooding, it suffered from incompetant management and ownership by councils, and being run by commitees. there is no excuse for the current operators not to have complied with the terms of their lease, John Steed
  • Score: 0

5:10pm Sat 26 Apr 14

getThisCoalitionOut says...

How on earth can a rental contract be passed onto another company "within the same group" if this company is forced into receivership?!

No the whole airport goes back to Brighton and Hove council - who should have done a better job at leasing it to a company that actually had the money to use and were made to use it on the repairs.

Fine them and change the law on companies being allowed to get away with doing this sort of thing. If other companies are owned by the same people, the fines should be paid by them and also take their houses, cars, homes, boats, jewellery to pay off all debts - this sort of thing is allowed to happen over and over again. It's why our country is in the state it's in.
How on earth can a rental contract be passed onto another company "within the same group" if this company is forced into receivership?! No the whole airport goes back to Brighton and Hove council - who should have done a better job at leasing it to a company that actually had the money to use and were made to use it on the repairs. Fine them and change the law on companies being allowed to get away with doing this sort of thing. If other companies are owned by the same people, the fines should be paid by them and also take their houses, cars, homes, boats, jewellery to pay off all debts - this sort of thing is allowed to happen over and over again. It's why our country is in the state it's in. getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: 2

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