The last survey showed public 3 to 1 against this which appears to have remained fairly solid. However SDC may go for the 'jobs' argument. If they pass it, despite officers objections, it will have to be pushed to a Public Inquiry. (Airport may appeal if SDC reject it-again to a PI)
(FLAG- Friends of Lydd Airport Group-is the pro- group locally)
LONDON ASHFORD AIRPORT- LAA, (LYDD) PLANNING DECISION, CIVIC CENTRE, FOLKESTONE- 3RD MARCH. 7pm start
Please attend Shepway District Council’s Civic Centre in Folkestone on Wednesday 3rd March 2010. 7pm. This is the date the council will decide the outcome of the 2 planning applications to expand London Ashford Airport (LAA), or Lydd, as it is commonly known.
The planning applications have generated significant local and regional controversy already and we feel that the final decision is likely to be made at a public inquiry. However, we must make our opposition to this development known to the Conservative run council, which is believed to be in favour of the plans. As a reminder, there are numerous reasons why we are opposed to this development, apart from the obvious aviation/climate change one. To name a few others:
Airport is adjacent to environmentally sensitive land, which is protected under EU law (SAC, SSSI etc). The environment is also a potential RAMSAR site.
Dungeness RSPB reserve is very close by- the RSPB’s oldest reserve and home to many species of endangered bird. It is also on an important migratory path.
The land is vulnerable to future flooding, given climate change and sea level rise.
Dungeness Nuclear reactors A (decommissioning) & B (functioning) are extremely close. In fact, the CAA guidelines permit planes to fly closer to the power stations, than they would to any other UK nuclear site, given the proximity of the airport to the nuclear reactors.
There is insufficient population catchment to warrant growth. Anyone west of Maidstone is closer and has easier access/transport links to the London Airports (Gatwick, Heathrow).
This application has been with the council for just over 3 years, in which time the applicants have submitted several additional pieces of information. Despite this, they have failed to explain how they will mitigate for the loss of habitat and protected land that will occur if they are allowed to expand. They have also failed to draw up an effective bird hazard management plan.
The application has generated significant local, regional, and even national controversy. The RSPB, CPRE and Natural England have all voiced their concerns. The latter is the main statutory consultee to the plans.
Despite the meeting date being put back on several occasions, and council officer’s recommending refusal (1), we feel the Conservative council majority are unlikely to listen to these points and will approve the plans. (However, we strongly believe, if they do approve the application, it will almost certainly be called in for a public inquiry and decision by the secretary of state).
If you can make it in person to the Civic Centre in Folkestone, that would be amazing and much appreciated! The meeting is scheduled to start at 7pm, although we recommend getting there from 5.30-6pm, to secure a better place.
***Please note, the council is not allowing general members of the public into the chamber. Most of us will be demonstrating outside the civic centre. There is room for approx. 100 people inside to watch via video link (2).***
There will also be a home c video link to the meeting online via SDC and at a community centre in New Romney
Please go to www.shepway.gov.uk for directions via Road/Rail to the Civic Centre.
Keep the Marsh Special Alliance (KMSA)
(1) The full officer’s report is available via http://www.shepway.gov.uk/content/view/200913/1922/
(2) See this link about how you can watch the meeting online, or attend the civic centre on 3rd March: