Airport questions answered through public documents
I HAVE noted a number of questions in the Your Say page of the Herald relating to the airport lease – what is the rent, who signed it and so on.
A copy of the lease dated April 27, 2004 can be obtained from the Land Registry for £23 by anyone applying with the title number DN497101.
Applicants should be aware that there is also a Deed of Variation to the lease dated June 12, 2009 for which the same terms will apply. This deed however only covers changes to the operating constraints and the non-viability clauses. The lease is 78 pages and the deed of variation is 14 pages.
The method of calculation and payment of the rent is given in Schedule 5 of the lease which runs to 14 pages and is based on gross turnover. In essence, using figures at 2004, if gross turnover is less than £5million the rent is one peppercorn; between £5million and £6 million it is 1.5 per cent of the excess over £5 million; for any excess over £6 million two per cent of the excess is added.
These threshold figures of £5million and £6 million are adjusted for various factors each year and the gross turnover is modified to exclude 75 per cent of fuel sales.
All this is academic as the gross turnover of Plymouth City Airport between 2004 and 2012 did not exceed £3.4million (2009). It is not stated whether the peppercorns were demanded or not.
The lease was developed by Davitt Jones Bould, Solicitors of Taunton, and was signed by a legal officer of Plymouth City Council as authorised by way of a delegated decision signed by councillors Evans, Wheeler and Aspinall on April 26, 2004.
I understand from my enquiries with the council that the authorisation was endorsed by the Cabinet at that time. I also understand that records of discussions of the lease held by the council no longer exist.