Council bosses set to rubber stamp Durham Tees Valley Airport share deal

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Hartlepool Council bosses are set to play their part in putting the finishing touches to the £40million Durham Tees Valley Airport deal.

Plans by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen were passed last month for the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) to acquire the airport from Peel Holding Limited.

The authority is to purchase the 89% shares of the airport held by Peel Investments Ltd in a £40million deal.

The six surrounding local authorities, including Hartlepool, have 11% shares in the airport and are required to waive their rights for first refusal of the Peel shares for the deal to go ahead.

Hartlepool Borough Council finance and policy committee is set to agree to the transfer of shares to the TVCA and to maintain its minority 1.08% holding in the airport, a report from chief solicitor Hayley Martin recommends.

The report also states the decision is required urgently to allow the deal to take place quickly without issues due to the planning application for 350 homes on land next to the airport.

It said: “Under the conditions of the existing planning consent a reserved matters application for the 350 housing units would need to be submitted by 22 February.

“Should the timescale to complete the acquisition not proceed on or before the date on which reserved matters application has to be made, then there is a risk that the acquisition may be impeded or delayed.

“As a result, both Peel and TVCA have expressed that it is urgent that the acquisition proceeds within the stated timescale.”

The deal to bring the airport into public ownership was part of the £588m TVCA investment plan backed by council leaders in the Tees Valley, including Hartlepool’s Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher.

The airport, between Darlington and Yarm, is currently owned and operated by Peel Airports, which also runs Liverpool John Lennon and Doncaster Sheffield airports.

The Tees Valley Mayor had previously said that he will change the name of Durham Tees Valley Airport back to Teesside International Airport if the takeover received the go ahead.

The decision is expected to take place at the finance and policy committee meeting on Tuesday, February 12 at 10am at the Civic Centre.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service