In a letter being sent out to thousands of residents in the Rochester and Strood constituency, Mark Reckless, MP for Rochester and Strood, is urging as many people as possible to respond to the Airports Commission further consultation, which closes on 23rd May 2014, on proposals for an airport to be built in the Thames Estuary.
In his letter, Mark Reckless states:
I am writing with further details of the study which the Airports Commission is currently undertaking regarding the feasibility (or otherwise!) of building an airport in the ‘Inner Thames Estuary’ on or near the Isle of Grain.
In its Interim Report published on 17th December the Commission, led by Howard Davies, said that proposals put forward by the Mayor of London and others had not been shown to be credible and were not short-listed to be taken forward. It instead short-listed a second runway at Gatwick and two options for a third runway at Heathrow. However, we must still deal with a further ‘study’ regarding the Isle of Grain.
The study includes a consultation, which closes on 23 May 2014, and calls for evidence and views to inform the Commission’s study in four main areas: environmental impacts; operational feasibility and the attitude of the airline industry; socio-economic impacts; and surface access impacts. If you would like to read the relevant section of the Interim Report you can find it at http://goo.gl/ARSDkW on pages 179-187.
I would encourage you to contact the Commission with any comments you have on a Thames Estuary Airport. Their email address is email@example.com and you may also copy to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Points which I am making include:
- Building an airport here would devastate key nature and environmental reserves that are protected under British and international law, making this illegal if there is any alternative, and the Commission has already short-listed three alternatives as credible.
- There are large potential risks of flood and bird strike at the proposed Isle of Grain site, which is on a coastal flood plain and estuary, and people do not want to be ‘regenerated’ if they chose to live where it is peaceful and away from noise.
- An Isle of Grain airport would cost £82-112billion, more than five times the cost of the Gatwick and Heathrow options shortlisted, twice the cost of HS2, and enough to add £50 to every plane ticket, hurting the poor and damaging the whole UK economy.
I have said I will do everything in my power to stop a Thames Estuary Airport and hope we can together use this study to get it ruled out once and for all. Thank you.