Anger over revised plans for airport on Hoo peninsula

25.10.2010 (BBC)
Campaigners against a new airport in Kent have expressed anger that seven years
after winning a fight against the plan it is now being reconsidered.

Hoo peninsula  
The Hoo peninsula in north Kent is home to thousands of migratory birds

A review by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is to look at the option of developing
the proposed site at Cliffe, on the Hoo peninsula.

He wants to increase flight capacity around London, but not expand Heathrow.

Medway Council leader Rodney Chambers said it was an “obscene plan” that must never be allowed to get off the ground.
In 2002, a new airport at Cliffe was one of several options being considered
by the government for airport expansion in the South East.

However, in December 2003, the government decided to leave Cliffe out of its
airport expansion plans.

The site is renowned for its populations of wintering birds, while in summer
it is an important breeding ground for birds such as avocets, marsh harriers,
Mediterranean gulls and little terns.

Mr Chambers, the council’s Conservative leader, said: “I am furious that this
unwelcome proposal to concrete over the Hoo Peninsula to create an international
airport is back on the table.

‘Fight again’

“We successfully fought proposals to build an airport on green fields and internationally
important wetlands in Medway and we will do so again.”

He urged the MPs of Medway and north Kent to declare their opposition to the
plan, and called on the coalition government to “unequivocally” rule it out.

“Medway fought the last government’s proposals for this and we will fight once

“We were right last time and we will be right again,” the councillor said.

A spokesperson for Mr Johnson said whatever conclusion was eventually reached,
it was “vital that a location for extra runway capacity is found for London to
remain one of the leading world cities”.
Related stories


see also



Mayor considers Hoo peninsula in Kent as Thames Estuary airport option

Date Added: 24th October 2010

A proposal to build a major airport on the Hoo peninsula is one of several options
being considered by the Boris Johnson. He wants to increase flight capacity around
London without expanding Heathrow, and has also been considering an airport in
the Thames Estuary. A spokesperson for the Mayor said it was “vital that a location
for extra runway capacity was found for London to remain one of the leading world
cities.” Bird strike would be a real problem.

Click here to view full story…


New fears on ‘Boris Island’ airport

Date Added: 22nd October 2010

The coalition Government’s stance on a Thames Estuary airport off Sheppey has
been questioned by a Swale councillor. He asked the Swale Council leader whether
the failure of David Cameron to dismiss the proposal meant it might be taken more
seriously. This came after the issue was raised during a BBC interview with Mr
Cameron at the Conservative Party conference. Mr Cameron had indicated he was
happy for a series of feasibility reports to have been done.

Click here to view full story…

Summary of an article from Planning in May 2003:

Aviation industry chiefs’ lobbying transport secretary Alistair Darling to ditch
the Cliffe Airport option from the aviation consultation has been dismissed by

Lobby group Freedom To Fly, whose members include British Airways, Virgin Airways
and BAA, last week offered to write to Darling provided environmental groups drop
their opposition to expansion at other airports.

Freedom To Fly director Dan Hodges admitted that the Cliffe option is ‘simply
unsustainable’. He added: ‘All that is now required is a firm commitment from
those environmental groups who went to court to oppose the exclusion of Gatwick
that they will not repeat the exercise …
Cliffe, on the Thames Estuary was a suggested location for a new £9billion airport
but rejected on grounds of cost, and high environmental impact.
see also

BAA advises ministers against new Cliffe airport


By Michael Harrison, Business Editor

Tuesday, 5 November 2002




BAA, the owner of Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, is set to advise the Government
against building a new airport at Cliffe in Kent in order to meet increased demand
for air travel in the South-east.

Instead, BAA is expected to indicate that a third runway at Heathrow and the
expansion of Stansted in Essex would be a more cost-effective and viable means
of providing additional capacity.

The company is due to deliver its response by the end of this month to the consultation
document issued by the Government in July setting out the options for expanding
runway capacity in the South-east.

BAA will be careful, however, to emphasise that any final decision on where to
site new runways must be one for the Government. It is likely to avoid making
a hard and fast recommendation in favour of building new runways at particular
airports for fear of antagonising local residents groups and environmental campaigners.

The Government document put forward three main options: a brand new airport at
Cliffe in the Kent marshes next to an important breeding site for water fowl;
a third runway at Heathrow to handle short-haul aircraft; and the expansion of
Stansted with up to four additional runways.

Mike Hodgkinson, BAA’s chief executive, insisted yesterday that BAA was still
working on its submission to the Government, and that much would depend on the
studies by the Strategic Rail Authority into the cost and building new rail links
to support increased runway capacity.

He was speaking as BAA reported a 3.6 per cent dip in normalised pre-tax profits
for the six months to the end of September to £326m because of increased security
and insurance costs and higher interest charges. BAA shares rose 6 per cent to

Despite the difficulty of gauging passenger numbers in the second half when BAA
is much more reliant on business travellers than the leisure market, the company
has not told analysts to amend their full-year profits forecasts which range from
£505m to £550m.

BAA said it expected the Civil Aviation Authority to publish final proposals
on the landing charges it can levy on airlines, for the five years from April
2003, in the next four to five weeks.

The CAA is in dispute with the Competition Commission over the mechanism for
setting charges, with the CAA keen to separate them from the retail income BAA
earns and the commission insistent that retail profits should continue to be used
to subsidise landing charges.

Mr Hodgkinson said that whichever formula was chosen, the level of charges had
to be enough to allow BAA to fund its investment programme, in particular the
building of Terminal Five which is due to enter service in 2008.