Campaign launched against £50bn Thames Estuary airport

 A new campaign has been set up to oppose either Boris Island or Foster’s Folly – the two options for airports in the Thames Estuary. Canvey town councillors are making preparations to join forces with parish councils in Kent to oppose the plans. Together they reckon they could be a very vociferous group. County councillor Ray Howard has put forward a motion to Essex County Council, to be discussed soon, on behalf of the town council opposing the estuary airport plans. There are many strong statements from a range of prominent people, showing their opposition to the plans.

26th December 2011  ( Southend Echo)

BATTLE lines are being drawn over £50billion plans to build an airport in the Thames Estuary.

Canvey town councillors are making preparations to join forces with parish councils in Kent to oppose the plans.

Concerned councillors claim plans to develop an international airport accommodating 150 million passengers a year, a stone’s throw from south Essex, would be disastrous for the area.

John Anderson, councillor for Canvey central, suggested the authority join forces with town councils in Kent to strengthen opposition to the development.

Mr Anderson said: “I think an alliance between us and councils in Kent would prove to be strong. I’m sure, together, we could be a very vociferous group.

“We need to make a statement to developers that the people of Canvey and possibly Kent are against the airport, rather than sitting back and saying nothing. But it will not be difficult to oppose these plans – the people of Canvey are quite spirited in that way.”

Two proposals have been submitted for the estuary – London mayor Boris Johnson’s original idea for a floating base and architect Lord Norman Foster’s recent proposal for a four-runway airport off the Isle of Grain, in Kent.

County councillor Ray Howard, who is also a borough and town councillor, has put forward a motion to Essex County Council on behalf of the town council opposing the estuary airport plans.

Peter Martin, from Essex County Council, has confirmed objections to the development will be discussed at a council meeting early next year.

Mr Howard said: “Lord Foster has been known to build all over the world, so we cannot sit idly by and let this happen.

“We must have a loud voice when it comes to opposing the airport.”

Elaine De Can, Canvey Town Council’s clerk, said she would begin correspondence with councils in Kent in the new year. 

This is from the Stop the Estuary Airport website:

Don’t just take our word for it –  here’s what other people say about the estuary airport:


“The idea that you could have permission to start advancing this as a serious proposal next year is clearly for the birds.  We dont regard it as in any way credible”.
– Lord Adonis, former Secretary of State for Transport (Kent Messenger, 19 October 2009)

“The notion of a new London hub airport in the Thames Estuary is a non-runner. The government said so in 2003. Five years later, the case for the same verdict is even stronger”.
Willie Walsh, Chief Executive of British Airways (12 March 2008)

“Building an estuarial airport in places of ecological sensitivity, which have large seabird populations, is not practical, because of both the impact on the environment and the risk of bird strike—a phenomenon not unknown to those who operate aircraft ”
Rt Hon Geoff Hoon (former MP), when he was Secretary of State for Transport (House of Commons, 21 October 2008)

“It is difficult to envisage a more problematic site anywhere else in the UK”
Central Science Laboratory Birdstrike Avoidance Team (North Kent Marshes Study Phase 1 Report, January 2002)

“These proposals would not deliver net environmental benefits.”
Ben Stewart, Greenpeace (Business Green, 23 September 2008)

“In terms of airport safety it is not a runner, in terms of environmental and ecological impact it is not a runner. In terms of funding it makes no sense at all”.
– Bob Spink, former MP (The Echo, 6 January 2009)

“This idea has been knocking around for so many years it was less like flogging a dead horse than flogging a dead dinosaur. It should be buried once and for all.”
– Gordon Henderson, MP For Sittingbourne and Sheppey (July 2010)

“On the Thames Estuary, that is not an option that we are looking at”.
Theresa Villiers MP, now Minister of State for Transport (House of Commons, 28 January 2009)

These plans “would include decimating the Elmley reserve, Warden Bay, Leysdown and Shellness”.

Derek Wyatt former MP (Sheerness Times Guardian, 29 January 2009)

“The proposal for a Thames estuary airport has not been thought through and is an idea that probably has more problems than benefits.”
James Duddridge MP (Southend News, 30 September 2008)

“I am not a fan of “Boris Island”. I do not think that it would work.”                                           – Roger Gale MP (House of Commons, 28 January 2009)

“Only central government can make a decision on Mr Johnson’s plans and it and the Conservative Party are not looking at the option of an airport in the Thames Estuary.”
Julian Brazier MP, Shadow Aviation Minister (Whitstable Gazette, 29 January 2009)

“Proper and thought through consideration was given to an international airport in the Thames Gateway a few years ago. We argued and showed that such a scheme was unworkable on a number of fronts – financially, unrealistic transport links and environmental damage.”
– Paul Clark former MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport (21 September 2008)

“I don’t think that it will happen. The mayor of London should ask, what is the relation of London to its airports? The inevitable answer will be that it is a disproportionate investment for the return. It would be unviable.”                                                                            – (Terry Farrell, member of Thames Estuary Steering Group, Architects Journal, 11th March 2010)

“The party isn’t putting forward that approach or another runway at Heathrow.” 
– (David Cameron, Medway Messenger, 25 Jan 2010)

“It goes completely contrary to the needs of the people of Medway.”
– (Cllr Rehman Chishti, Member of Parliament for Gillingham and Rainham, Medway Messenger, 14th January 2010)

“All evidence is that it would be unacceptable on economic and environmental grounds” 
– (Gordon Henderson, MP for Sittingbourne and Sheerness, Radio Kent, 2nd July 2010)




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