Council Meeting 3 March 2010
Shepway District Council Vote in Favour of Lydd Airport’s Planning Application against the Wishes of the Public, Leading advisors and the Recommendation of their own Planning Officers
On March 3rd, 2010 Shepway District Council voted in favour of the large scale development of Lydd Airport – an extended runway and new terminal to cater for the first phase (500,000ppa) of a 2million passenger per annum (2mppa) longer term target. Twenty seven councillors voted in favour of the development and thirteen vote against the proposal. The councillors overruled Shepway planning officers who had recommended that the planning
application should be opposed because Lydd Airport was unable to demonstrate that the development would not have an adverse impact on the European ecological sites that surround the airport.
The development was supported by Michael Howard MP at the meeting and the prospective Conservative parliamentary candidate, Damian Collins in the local press.
The large scale development of Lydd Airport will irreversibly change the character of Romney Marsh through noise and air pollution and the inevitable urbanisation that follows in the wake of airport growth. The development puts at risk a natural environment which is unique in Europe, raising the possibility of rendering extinct, species that are unique worldwide to Dungeness.
The development also poses risks to the public. Lydd Airport is located less than three miles from the Dungeness Nuclear Power Complex which means in the future large aircraft such as the Boeing 737 weighing over 70 tonnes fully loaded will be taking off and landing less than 60 seconds flight time away from the nuclear power complex. The risk of crash damage is too high and the consequences of an accident too great.
So, for the sake of a limited number of low paid jobs, these twenty seven Shepway District Councillors have put at risk our unique environment and our safety.
Council Minutes 3 March 2010 click here to view [110kb file]
The minutes show how the council deleted information it did not like in the Appropriate Assessment - the document that assesses whether there will be adverse impacts on the European protected habitats that surround the runway and airport - and replaced this information with that provided by Lydd Airport which allegedly demonstrated that the airport would NOT adversely affect the European Sites. Once the Appropriate Assessment had been doctored
to allegedly show that the development would not harm the protected habitats, the Council was free to vote for the planning application.
Public Inquiry Granted
In June 2010 the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government called in London Ashford Airport’s (Lydd Airport’s) planning application for a public inquiry. The controversial nature of this planning application resulted in a record 14,000 pieces of correspondence being received by the Government Office of the South East - over 98% were opposed to Lydd Airport’s planning application due to the adverse environmental and public safety consequences of the development.