Southend Tory MPs line up to fight estuary airport proposals
Two MPs have publicly opposed plans for the estuary airport. Castle Point MP Rebecca Harris and James Duddridge MP for Rochford and Southend East, fear the plan would be detrimental to south Essex. Mrs Harris, who met with London mayor Boris Johnson before Christmas, said: “I will be opposing anything which would spoil the tranquillity of my constituency. Mr Duddridge added: “I do not think this airport is right, sensible, realistic or deliverable.” [However, the worrying feature is that some in Southend want to press for expansion instead at Manston, which would be deeply unacceptable to people there. This sort of passing the buck is not sensible, and does nobody any favours] .
20th January 2012 (Southend Standard)
TWO Tory MPs have publicly opposed plans for the estuary airport.
Castle Point MP Rebecca Harris (Cons) and James Duddridge (Cons) MP for Rochford and Southend East, fear the plan would be detrimental to south Essex.
Mrs Harris, who met with London mayor Boris Johnson before Christmas, said: “I will be opposing anything which would spoil the tranquillity of my constituency.
“Mr Johnson knows how concerned I am and that it would not be acceptable to local MPs to bring the noise and congestion and problems in London to south Essex and North Kent.
“But I welcome the proposed Government review on this.”
Mr Duddridge added: “I do not think this airport is right, sensible, realistic or deliverable.
“We have a regional airport which is widely supported in the community – Southend Airport.
“We have recently seen Stobart group investing millions of pounds into this project and this investment is starting to pay dividends.”
Meanwhile, county councillor Ray Howardbelieves expanding Manston Airport in Kent could be the answer, as it is an area he feels would be better equipped to deal with the influx of passengers.
Mr Howard said: “I recognise the country is lagging behind in aviation, and I want the country to prosper, but not at a detriment to the environment. An airport in the Thames Estuary is not the answer.
“I have put forward this proposal as an alternative because at the end of the day the building is already there and it would mean not starting from scratch.
“And the airport is hardly used and Kent’s infrastructure is above any other county in the country.
“That airport has runways 2,752 metres long, which can accommodate larger planes, and it has terminal buildings already in place.”
A few of the many comments under the article, below:
“It seems that the Estuary Airport idea has already collapsed. BA have said that they will not leave Heathrow, and if they don’t, other leading airlines will not, and the new airport will not be viable.
We need to be vigilant, but I would hope that no time or money is spent on exploring it further. It is literally dead in the water”.
“Just as a matter of interest, i wonder how many people who oppose the plan would reconsider/support it should Southend Airport submit plans to expand even further to accomodate larger aircraft serving destinations further abroad thus increasing the number of flights.”
“Would make very little difference to views about the estuary airport, which would irrevocably change the nature of the whole area, with little or no economic benefit. The road and rail links and therefore the jobs, would seem to be on the Kent side, so far as I can see.
There is little room for signicant further extension of the runway at Southend. You would need at least another 500 metres to allow it to take the larger Airbuses or Boeing 767/777 and further still for jumbos, and there simply is not that space. Southend will always be a short to medium haul airport, and should do well, but it can never be another Stansted or Luton.”
James Durridge MP slams Thames estuary airport plans
9th December 2011 (Southend Standard)
AMBITIOUS proposals to build the world’s largest airport just three miles off the Southend coast have been slammed by one of the town’s MPs.
Lord Foster, the architect behind Wembley Stadium, has envisaged building a £50billion airport and railway station on the Isle of Grain in Kent.
Mr Duddridge said: “First and foremost, this airport is just not needed and is not wanted by the people of Southend.
“Over recent months, there has been substantial investment and development to increase the passenger capacity at Southend Airport.
“I have remained fully supportive of the expansion plans to our existing airport.
“I do not support an additional, ill-conceived, expensive proposal. This idea was branded about a number of years ago – it was unworkable then, it remains unworkable now.”