EAST Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton has played a big part in the negotiations.
He said the deal would create jobs, because Brighton City Airport has pledged to expand its operations at Shoreham.
He said: “I have been part of these sensitive negotiations all the way along and there are still some parts which have to remain confidential due to legal considerations.”
He was praised by Cllr Geoffrey Theobald at Brighton and Hove Council’s policy and resources committee on Thursday for the ‘enormous amount’ of time he had put into getting a solution.
Mr Loughton said: “I am pleased that the councils have now given the go ahead for these organisational changes at Shoreham Airport, which secure the long-term viability of the airport as an airport and very importantly secure the funding for the urgent repairs to the terminal building and hangar. Brighton City Airport is committed to getting on with this as a matter of urgency.
“It is clear that the ownership of the airport has been far from satisfactory and that is why it was absolutely right for the councils to impose a £1m penalty clause on Albermarle, which while it will be deferred, it will still need to be paid to the council out of future profits.
“While it is not ideal that negotiations have happened this way, this deal is absolutely right to maintain the operations of this airport, which is what everyone locally wants to see.
“Shoreham Airport is not a development site and it should not involve building on flood plains. This is absolutely about building up our historic and valuable airport and I am confident that Brighton City Airport is going to offer this.
“It has been very frustrating that certain people have tried to grab headlines for political purposes, without bothering to find out the underlying problems at the airport. The community asset idea being put up by the London-based Liberal Democrat candidate may seem attractive but it is a complete non-starter because the airport remains in the ownership of our local councils. This arrangement is actually covering the £1.4m needed to do the repairs, while the campaigners have no clue where any money would have come from and they may perhaps have actually seen the airport close down altogether, which would have been absolutely disastrous for the authorities and the local community.
“It is a shame that certain people have tried to use the airport for political purposes and have been economical with the facts rather than work together with those of us who have been working hard with the local councils and Albermarle to make sure we have a reliable working airport for the future.”
See today’s Herald for a special report on Shoreham Airport