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Tees Valley mayor agrees deal to buy Durham Airport

The directly-elected mayor of Tees Valley, Ben Houchen has reached terms to bring Durham Tees Valley Airport (DTVA) back into public ownership for £40 million.

Mr Houchen said he has reached a deal with the current owners, Peel Airports to buy its 89% shareholding in the airport and 819 acres of land for £40 million.

As part of the agreement, a parcel of land with outline planning permission for 350 homes will also be purchased.

The mayor has previously committed to stopping the planned housing development.

The mayor has now called an emergency meeting of the Tees Valley Combined Authority Cabinet in January 2019 to approve the deal.

The deal, if approved by cabinet, will transfer ownership of the airport to the Tees Valley Combined Authority early in 2019.

At a joint press conference hosted at Durham Tees Valley Airport, Mr Houchen said: ‘I am delighted to confirm that I have reached a deal with Peel to bring our airport back into public ownership. This is a deal that will secure our airport’s long-term future, and delivers on the number one election pledge I made to the people of the Tees Valley.

‘I know some politicians promise the world and walk away from their responsibilities, but I won’t be that type of politician. The people asked me to take back control of our airport, and now I’m doing just that. This is the democratic mandate that I have been given,’ he added.

‘Using the money devolved to our area from central government, I am proposing to use just over 6% of that – £35million – to acquire Peel’s shareholding in our airport and 819 acres of land.

‘In order to stop the planned 350-home development outside the terminal, we have agreed to acquire the land with planning permission for £5million. Stopping this development is central to our long-term plan to make this airport great again.

The chairman of Peel Airports, Robert Hough, added: ‘Further to the election of mayor Ben Houchen, as the airport owners and operators since 2003 we have in good faith shown willing to engage with the mayor on his ambition for the future of Durham Tees Valley Airport to return to public ownership.

‘Following numerous meetings over many months a proposal has been put forward by the Mayor to fully acquire the Peel Group’s 89% shareholding in DTVA.  At this stage we have an agreement in principle, subject to approval by the local authority leaders.

‘We understand the Mayor will now seek support for his proposal from the leaders and we await further progress on this,’ said Mr Hough.

Pictured are Peel Airports’ chairman Robert Hough (left) with Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen (right) at Durham Tees Valley Airport.

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