Saturday, September 3, 2011

Victoria's Green Matters 1st Sept 2011

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
The battle is on to stop the expansion of Lydd Airport. Shepway Council has approved plans to develop the airport but in the face of opposition from concerned residents, environmental and wildlife conservation groups the government has referred the matter to the planning inspectorate. The final decision will rest with the secretary of state for communities and local government, Eric Pickles.

Lydd Airport is tiny and situated close to Dungeness nuclear power station.  It is used by private jets and cargo planes and plans to extend it will change the area completely. Next to the dramatic buildings of the nuclear power station is situated one of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) most important sites in Europe. Expanding Lydd Airport will change the marshland atmosphere in an area of outstanding natural beauty and destroy this amazing habitat for thousands of birds, many of which rely on Dungeness as a food stop on their migratory path. There are dangers from pollution and there are security concerns for the power station.

Some residents want the airport to provide jobs for the dying town but others know that this is a short-term option. The key is in the new name for Lydd Airport – London Ashford. Passengers arriving in larger planes from other countries can be transported to Ashford International station for their train journey into the capital.

As cheap oil becomes a thing of the past and cheap airfares disappear, flights into Lydd will no longer be viable and an important habitat will have been destroyed for nothing.

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