1) Those outside the SDC area: Please write to Shepway Council leader: Cllr Robert Bliss (Cons) to arrive BEFORE decision day Weds March 3rd. Address/email below. This to show the widespread 'interest' in stopping further airport expansion.
IF within the Shepway area, please write to all your local councillors in your Ward (some have more than one) asking for them to vote against this expansion.
2) Write to Gov Office of the South East (GoSE) to request they call-in the plans IF the council gives the go-ahead on March 3.
Full text(1) from KMSA: (Keep the Marsh Special Alliance)
After several postponements, Shepway District Council have now announced that they will make a decision on the two planning applications for London Ashford Airport-Lydd (LAA), on 3rd March 2010 at a special full council meeting. Councillors must vote for, against or abstain from the decision regarding expansion.
Although in the past, many of you have contacted both the local council and the Government office for the South East (GOSE) to raise your concerns about the proposed expansion, we feel councillors still need one final reminder about the necessity to protect the unique Romney Marsh habitat. We believe that any employment gained from expansion could jeopardise the local tourism industry on the marsh and that the council should be working towards enhancing sustainable tourism locally.
Therefore, we are urging people to contact the council prior to the 3rd March to ask councillors to refuse the application and/or to push for a public enquiry. We are urging people to contact their local Shepway District Councillor (if you live within the Shepway area), and/or to write to/email the Leader of the Council (supporters who live outside the Shepway district are particularly encouraged to do this-the more interest that this issue is seen to raise outside the immediate vicinity, the more likely that the decision will be referred to a public inquiry).
You can contact councillors via the following web page link on the Shepway District Council Website: http://www.shepway.gov.uk/content/category/1/200038/1748/ This will take you to a list of all the councillors. Click on your councillor and then select “contact”.
***If you do not know who your local Shepway District Councillor is/ or do not live within the Shepway district, please address your email/letter to the leader of the council, Mr Bliss via this link:
Or you can send hard copy letters to this address:
Leader of the Council, Shepway District Council, Castle Hill Ave, Folkestone, CT20 2QY.
Some points you may like to remind councillors about in your email/letter are- (You can attach a word or pdf document to your email via the contact page if you so wish):
Council members should refuse planning permission, in line with official recommendations from Natural England, (the government’s statutory advisor on the natural environment), and the council officer’s report.
LAA growth is not supported in the regional planning document, “The South East Plan”.
Romney Marsh is one of the most tranquil areas in the South East.
The recent economic downturn has severely affected the airline industry. More people are choosing to holiday in the UK, e.g. “staycations”. This should be supported and encouraged by the council in terms of sustainable ecotourism on the marsh. In 2004, the UK had a tourism deficit of £15 billion (i.e. UK tourists abroad spent more overseas than tourists visiting the UK did here).
The habitat at Dungeness is unique internationally in terms of biodiversity conservation. It supports many rare species, and is one of the largest expanses of shingle in the world.
The effect on increased air pollution locally- particularly nitrogen dioxide emissions on the Dungeness SAC (Special Area of Conservation) would be detrimental to certain species and their long-term survival on the marsh.
Climate change is one of the biggest current issues. If the UK government is to meet it’s emission reduction targets, Shepway District Council must play its part in this and realise that aviation expansion is not compatible with reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
The area affected by the proposed expansion is greater than solely the district of Shepway. Consequently, the decision to grant planning permission should not be decided by this council- preferably, the council should refuse planning permission or failing this, the applications should be referred to a public inquiry.
Many thanks for your support in this important campaign. Together, we can help prevent this disaster from taking shape and help preserve the unique landscape of Romney Marsh and the surrounding area.
2) Sample letter to GoSE: (Send asap pls)
To: Government Office for the South East
Housing & Planning Directorate
Planning East Team
1 Walnut Tree
Dear Sir/ Madam
Re: London Ashford Airport (Lydd) - full council meeting, 3rd March 2010
I write voice my opposition against the proposed expansion of London Ashford Airport (Lydd)-LAA, and so to inform you that Shepway District Council will be holding a special full council meeting on the above date where planning applications Y06/1648/SH (runway extension) and Y06/1647/SH (new terminal building) will be decided.
I / we consider these planning applications have already demonstrated significant public controversy to warrant call in by the Secretary of State. There has been substantial interest in the case from local, national and regional parties, including NGO’s such as the RSPB, CPRE and Kent Wildlife Trust.
The proposed expansion plans, as I/we understand it, are not supported within regional policy frameworks, i.e. the South East Plan.
I/we agree with Shepway District Council’s own officers’ recommendations from their report (1), that planning permission should be refused on the grounds of significant adverse impact on the legally protected areas surrounding the site, from runway extension and aviation growth.
I/we believe council members should refuse planning permission, in line with official recommendations from Natural England, the government’s statutory advisor on the natural environment.
I/we believe if councillors give planning consent, on the basis of this report (1), the applications would automatically be called in for determination by the Secretary of State, as they go against statutory guidelines.
Given the level of local, regional and national interest in this planning decision, I/we also feel the full council meeting should have been allocated a larger meeting place, (such as the Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone, for example).
I/we note from a recent article in the local press, that another equally large and controversial planning application has received scrutiny from GOSE; re a Sainsbury’s superstore in Hythe, Kent. The article stated GOSE had put a Section 14 notice on the decision made by Shepway District Council to grant planning permission, so that GOSE can scrutinise this decision. I/we hope GOSE will also pay close attention to the decisions made on the 3rd March, 2010 regarding LAA.
I/we stand by comments made at meetings and via consultations against expansion and feel the proposed expansion of LAA would diminish the quality of life in the locality, damage or destroy irreplaceable wildlife assets and threaten the local tourism industry by reducing tranquillity. I/we urge Shepway District & Kent County Councils to work in partnership with statutory and non-statutory parties alike towards an eco-tourism based framework for Romney Marsh. Such sustainable development is essential if we are to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the needs of future generations.