Lydd Airport News


Recent news about Lydd airport:

News stories about the airport can be found at the UK Airport News website 

Claims that Air Alderney flights from Lydd to Le Touquet might start in summer

Commercial flights from Lydd airport, by Air Alderney, may start this summer. The small specialist airline will fly from the airfield on Romney Marsh to destinations including the French airport of Le Touquet, which is a 15 minute flight from Lydd. The runway at Lydd is one of the shortest on mainland UK at 1,505m – more than 2,000m less than the two runways at Heathrow.  A 300m expansion of the runway was approved 10 years ago, along with a new terminal building, but work has yet to begin on either. The airport also likes to call itself London Ashford Airport, though it is miles – and a hard journey – from London. It is controlled by Saudi businessman Sheikh Fahad Al-Athel. In 2013 the airport was given the permission to extend the airport and runway, to take larger holiday destination aircraft.  The plans faced legal challenges with campaigners opposed to the expansion at a site which is close to the Dungeness nuclear plant, an RSPB nature reserve and a military range. The Lydd Airport Action Group took the expansions plans to the high court, but their bid to block them was thrown out. It is unclear whether commercial flights will actually return, or be profitable.

Click here to view full story…

Plans for Lydd Airport expansion “will be ready for take off next year”?

27 November 2015

A new Lydd consultative committee was told that plans for the expansion of the airport are ready for take off in 2016.  An assessment of the multi-million-pound redevelopment of the Kent airport was presented to the newly-formed Lydd Airport Consultative Committee when they met on November 26.  The committee is chaired by former county councillor Fred Wood-Brignall and it was created with the intention of ‘improving links with the local community’. More than 60 pre-commencement conditions were attached to the planning permission for an extension of the runway at the airport.  Executive manager Hani Mutlaq told the committee that ‘a huge amount of work’ had gone into satisfying the conditions set by Shepway District Council when it granted planning permission for a runway extension and a new terminal building in April last year.

“Our team has worked tirelessly to meet these conditions, which cover everything from winter bird nesting studies to noise pollution, ground water drainage to conserving local populations of amphibians and other wildlife,” he said.  “In meeting our obligations we have satisfied all the tests set by the council, Natural England and a host of other bodies.

“With the conditions discharged I’m delighted to report that we can now proceed to the next phase of our exciting development plans, the 294-metre extension of our existing 1,500 metre long runway plus a 150-metre starter area. We expect construction work to start in spring 2016 and be completed by the end of the year.”

Members of the public will be encouraged to participate in future meetings, either by providing questions in advance or attending – with two meetings a year due to take place from 2016.

The airport has spent £35 million upgrading facilities over the past decade, including improving passenger check-in and security and a new departure lounge.

For more information visit


YouTube film on Lydd Airport expansion

New short trailer film, for a longer documentary that will be screened at a date not yet known, about the Lydd Airport expansion plans.

Three and a half minutes or so, on YouTube.  Worth watching!

Lydd Airport Action Group (LAAG)

Safety Standards dropped – local people deserve an explanation..

Lydd Airport Action Group (LAAG) seeks an explanation from the nuclear regulator over it’s stance on Lydd Airport. At the Dungeness Site Stakeholder Group (SSG) meeting on October 16th, LAAG asked the nuclear regulator (Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR)) to explain to local people why it failed to recommend the same safety measures as those implemented at the time of Lydd Airport’s previous development proposal. (The planning application for this development, very similar to the current proposal, was approved in 1992 but never enacted.)

At that time certain flight paths were banned in response to a recommendation by the nuclear regulator, since they were considered dangerous from a nuclear safety prospective, because aircraft flew towards the nuclear power stations..! There was also a cap on the number of annual flight movements (no more than 6000 pa) by aircraft weighing more than a light aircraft, since aircraft above this weight are considered capable of causing a severe radiological release should one crash into a nuclear power station.. However no such constraint is associated with the current planning decision and as a result up to 40,000 annual aircraft movements (the maximum allowable) can be made..

These omissions mean there has been a significant reduction in safety standards between the 1992 and 2013 planning decisions. Local people deserve an explanation…!

link to Facebook page


Ex-Manston airport boss Charles Buchanan hired as chief executive of Lydd airport five months after Manston closure

12 September 2014

The former chief executive of recently-closed Manson airport has been given the job of running its Kent rival Lydd, with campaigners branding him a “traitor”.   His four-year tenure at Manston came to an end when its owner Ann Gloag decided to close the airport in May, having bought the site in November for £1.    Yet the Save Manston group say former workers – many of whom have been unable to find new jobs in the aviation industry – feel betrayed by their ex-boss.   Mr Buchanan has 30 years’ experience in the developing transport infrastructure, including 10 years at London City Airport, where he gained planning permission to increase the number of flights by 50% and delivered infrastructure projects totalling £30 million.    Mr Buchanan said: “I’ve joined Lydd at a very exciting time and I’m now working with the rest of the senior management team and staff to bring the airport’s development plans to fruition.

Link to story


Lydd airport plans first commercial flights to Italy, with its very short runway – plane can only be half full??

Following the closure of Manston Airport with the loss of some 150 jobs, Lydd Airport has announced an expanded service. Its runway is only 1,505 metres, making it too short for many commercial airlines. However, Lydd says it is now starting flights to Italy. Now it has full terminal services including Customs, immigration and Special Branch, Lydd Airport hopes to attract more executive jets, helicopters and light aircraft and cargo. The airport says it now has regular flights to Verona and Naples run by Newmarket Holidays, as well as to Le Touquet, operated by LyddAir. The 3 departures (just 3 flights?) will take place on June 1, 14 and 22. Two of the flights will go to Verona, while one will fly to Naples. The flight on 1st June will be a Boeing 737. This is odd, as the airport’s own website says it can only operate 737s without fare-paying passengers. They could only have private passengers, or the flights could be for maintenance. So what is going on? Local campaign group Lydd Airport Action Group (LAAG) have condemned the move, saying on their Facebook page that the aircraft will be “operating at the limit of its specification using the existing short runway.”

Click here to view full story…

Lydd Airport Action Group’s Appeal unsuccessful so Lydd expansion can go ahead

Lydd Airport Action Group (LAAG) is disappointed that they have been unable to quash the government’s decision to grant Lydd Airport permission to extend its runway and build a new terminal to support a throughput of 500,000 passengers per annum. LAAG and the RSPB both challenged the government’s decision. Their Section 288 Appeal focused heavily on process, not the merits of the facts. The impact of allowing the expansion of Lydd airport is likely to be highly negative for many people in the area, not to mention wildlife. The airport development will lead to the introduction of large aircraft, such as the Boeing 737, taking off and landing within 60 seconds flight time of the Dungeness Nuclear power complex. No other regional airport in Europe, and possibly the world, will be located as close to a nuclear power complex. LAAG contends this development will result in the possibility of an aircraft accident at the Dungeness Nuclear power complex. LAAG believes Lydd Airport’s expansion is not in the public interest. RSPB says the area round the airport is of “exceptional” importance to birds and the expansion would damage unique habitats on Romney Marsh.

Click here to view full story…

Keith Taylor, Green MEP on Lydd airport’s future: We must look at fate of Manston and think again

April 28, 2014

Keith Taylor MEP says the Lydd airport area, in his European constituency, could be revived in a way to generate jobs and green growth – but not by expanding the airport or using it for yet more holiday flights. He is concerned about the low, and declining, number of airport jobs generated by ultra-low-cost flights, and that better employment could be generated on the site, with lower carbon emissions. Keith says the arguments for Lydd Airport expansion centres on an economic case that simply doesn’t stand up. In reality, Lydd’s remote position, and relatively inaccessible by public transport, means it already faces a competitive disadvantage compared with Gatwick. He says: “With the nuclear power station at Dungeness on its last legs, I believe it’s time to turn the peninsula into a green energy zone. I’d like to see schemes like the Marsh Millions built on to offer local green business incentives to set up shops in the area, and provide people with jobs to build a life on.” Lydd could be at the forefront of a new economic model, of economies refocused on tackling climate change.

Click here to view full story…



Lydd airport has appointed a consultant for its expansion, but result of 2 legal challenges still awaited

April 4, 2014

Lydd airport has put out a press release, giving the impression that it is already getting on with building its 294 metre runway extension (plus a 150m starter extension). However, in reality, it has merely appointed some consultants. The airport is still waiting the result of the legal appeal against its planning application. There were two separate legal challenges against the application; one from the RSPB and one from the local community group, LAAG. If the appeal of either is accepted by the judge, the planning consent could be quashed. If that were the case, and one appeal won, the planning application has to be re-determined on the subject matters under question. Lydd is saying it has appointed Capita to design and manage its runway extension. Capita helped design Crossrail, and its job at Lydd would be to provide project, cost, construction and design management services for the airport as well as civil and aviation design services. Lydd says it is nearing completion of a number of pre-commencement conditions required to enable planning permission for the runway extension to be implemented.

Click here to view full story…


High Court hearing ended on 27th January 2014

LAAG commented:

The hearing is over. The timing of the judgement is unknown – it could take weeks or months. It depends on the Judge’s workload.

It only takes one party to be successful to quash the Secretaries of States’ decision – i.e. LAAG or the RSPB. If both parties lose their appeals, the airport’s development goes ahead, although it is possible that a qualified judgement(s) could ultimately lead to further restrictions on the airport.

The judge has no power to make a decision about the case itself. His role is to rule on the soundness of the government’s decision. If it is unsound and the decision is overturned, it must be re-taken. The mechanics of this are still not clear – whether this will be undertaken in the form of another public inquiry to re-examine the issue(s) at fault, or via consultation.



Legal challenge against Lydd airport expansion plans at the High Court by RSPB and LAAG.  21st to 27th January 2014

RSPB on 21st and 22nf.  LAAG on 23rd and 24th

January 21, 2014

A legal challenge to the decision to allow expansion at Lydd in Kent is being heard on 21st and 22nd January, at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. A public inquiry was held into the applications by Lydd Airport in 2011 at which the RSPB raised concerns about the impact an expansion would have on the nearby protected wildlife area of Dungeness. The inspector found in favour of the airport’s proposals – and his report was subsequently endorsed by the Secretaries of State for Communities and Local Government and for Transport. After careful consideration the RSPB issued a legal challenge to the final decision based on the inspector’s report. The RSPB believes the stakes are too high to risk the future of one of the UK’s best and most important places for nature without testing the basis for this decision which they consider to be flawed. Dungeness is one of the most important wildlife sites in the world and it is protected at global, European and UK levels. It is home to many threatened species and is also a crossroads for migrating birds stopping off on migration. The Lydd Airport Action Group (LAAG) have a separate appeal which will be heard after that of the RSPB. They have concerns about the airport’s proximity to the nuclear power station. LAAG did not want to disclose further details of its case until the court hearing.      Click here to view full story…



Lydd Airport: Legal challenge to expansion plans at High Court on 23rd and 24th January 2014

January 14, 2014

A legal challenge to the government’s decision to allow the expansion of Lydd Airport in Kent is to be heard at the High Court on on 23rd and 24th January. The £25m project includes a runway extension of almost 300m (328yds) and a new terminal building. The airport site is close to the Dungeness nuclear plant, an RSPB nature reserve and a military range. The RSPB and Lydd Airport Action Group (LAAG) have lodged separate appeals against the expansion. After several years going through the planning process, the airport got planning permission in April 2013. LAAG has said the expansion would damage “the unique natural habitats on Romney Marsh and urbanise this important rural area”. LAAG also fear that the introduction of heavy aircraft such as the Boeing 737s “raised the probability of an aircraft accident at the Dungeness nuclear power complex leading to a serious radiological release to unacceptably high levels”. The RSPB said Dungeness was “one of the most important wildlife sites in the world and protected at global, European and UK levels”.    Click here to view full story…


Lydd plans could herald European travel from airport

(June 2013 article in

Includes the comments: “The Lydd site, wich would serve arond 500,000 passengers per year, owuld also be  upgraded with an on0site hotelandother service facilities”.

and:  “The owners of Lydd Airports are presently conducting further studies on the area’s ecology as part of its consent to expand”.  “This includes creating a construction environmental management plan with an intention to create an airfield bioiversity panel, working with Natural England and Kent Wildlife Trust, to assess the impact on species including  grass snakes, common lizards and great crested newts”.

Lydd Airport expansion plans to be shown off at Dubai Airport Show and other international shows

May 7, 2013    The owners of Lydd Airport, Lydd Holdings, is exhibiting the plans for their 294 metre runway extension, plus a 150-metre starter extension and an new terminal building, in Dubai. There is the Dubai Airport Show taking place, and Lydd Holdings are showing off their plans to delegates from some 200 companies from 32 countries. Lydd Holidngs is to invest £25million into the development, and has already spent £35m upgrading the site over the last year including installing a new executive terminal with VIP facilities, improved passenger check-in and security and a new departure lounge. They will be promoting the airport at other international aviation shows this year, including the EBACE (European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition), later in May. Currently the airport has begun to work on the pre-development conditions, which include things like carrying out baseline biodiversity surveys (water voles, bats, lizards, grass snakes etc), and a Carbon Management Action Plan for the ground operational vehicles etc. The airport may not start the terminal until the runway extension is started.   Click here to view full story…

Lydd airport: will it find enough passenger demand, or is its business plan nonsensical?

April 25, 2013    Gwyn Topham, in the Guardian, speculates on whether the government granting planning permission to Lydd airport is an indication to their thinking on airport expansion in general. The decision came relatively soon after publication of the aviation policy framework in March which reiterated the idea of growth elsewhere to take pressure off London’s main airports. And it may be connected to Osborne’s budget talking up infrastructure and its impact on the economy. Approval has been given for up to 500,000 passengers a year, though Lydd will struggle to get anywhere near that. They hope to eventually be able to use the railway track that carries nuclear waste from Dungeness to link passengers to Ashford’s high-speed train – a 37-minute journey to London, albeit expensive. Though Lydd would like to get easyJet, as Southend has, but it is more likely to expand the executive jet service. And they hope when Gatwick is full and wants more A380, it will kick out the smaller planes, which will then find Lydd useful. That will take a while … and currently the lack of demand makes the Lydd business plan nonsensical.     Click here to view full story…

Lydd airport expansion: planning advice is ignored over building near nuclear sites

April 14, 2013     Writing in the Observer, Jamie Doward points out that Ministers have chosen to ignore warnings that residential and commercial property should not be built too close to the UK’s nuclear power plants. Documents released under FoI show that the government rejected advice from the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), regarding the lessons to be learned following the Fukushima disaster. The ONR recommended restricting development near nuclear plants, advice that was overridden last week when the government approved the expansion of Lydd. A legal challenge is already underway against this decision. Lydd Airport Action Group (LAAG) did not wait for the decision by Ministers, as they had anticipated the worst and worked on a case last year. The European Commission accepted the case and has already started infringement proceedings under the pilot mechanism. Environmental NGOs have condemned the government decision to expand Lydd saying any benefits from the airport would be far outweighed by the environmental damage to the area, and expansion would irreversibly damage specially protected areas nearby.     Click here to view full story…



Lydd Airport expansion plans given government approval

April 10, 2013      Plans to expand Lydd airport have been approved by the government following a pubic inquiry. This tiny airport, on Dungensss and close to a nuclear power station, has ambitions to handle half a million passengers per year, and wants an extended runway and a new airport terminal. Shepway District Council gave permission for the expansion in 2010 but the application was called for a public inquiry. Now both Secretaries of State for Communities and Local Government (Pickles) and for Transport (McLoughlin) have approved the development – subject to environmental, noise and traffic conditions. The safety issue of an airport so close to a nuclear facility have not been examined fully or properly at the inquiry. The main opposition group, the Lydd Airport Action Group (LAAG) has fought tenaciously on the nuclear issue for years, and the European Commission has already started infringement proceedings under the pilot mechanism relating to the Nuclear Safety Directive. The government is also liable to legal challenge due to infringements of the EU Habitats Directive.      Click here to view full story…


UK government risks infringing nuclear safety legislation over Lydd Airport

March 25, 2013     Lydd Airport submitted a planning application in December 2006 for a 444 metre extension to its runway and a new terminal to increase its passenger numbers from below 3,000 in 2005 to 500,000 passengers per annum. It ultimately wants the number to rise to 2 million per year. The planning application was taken to public inquiry in 2011, and since then, a decision has been awaited, from Eric Pickles, Minister at DCLG. However, the issue of the proximity of Lydd airport to the Dungeness nuclear power station has always been a serious problem. The Lydd Area Action Group (LAAG) has challenged the manner in which the nuclear issue has been handled by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR). Now LAAG say that should the government approve the development of Lydd Airport without holding the ONR to account on a range of matters and satisfactorily answering the questions put to it by the European Commission, it ultimately faces the possibility of the case being referred to the European Court of Justice.    Click here to view full story…


Lydd Airport: Wind turbines, a new airport and an atomic plant threaten historic wetlands

March 24, 2013       Observer article by Jamie Doward.

A decision on whether to allow major expansion of Lydd airport, less than three miles from the Dungeness nuclear power station, may be imminent. It has been delayed for years. The decision will be made by the Sec of State, Eric Pickles. However, there are many issues that make allowing Lydd airport, which is owned by an Arab sheikh, to expand very problematic. First there is the issue of the nuclear power station at Dungeness B, the operators of which (EDF) opposed the application. Many local residents are also opposed to more local wind farms. The battle over the future of Romney Marsh offers a snapshot of the dilemmas facing a government struggling to reconcile job-friendly “grand projects” with commitments to reduce carbon emissions and preserve the integrity of the countryside. Click here to view full story…


Lydd Airport: Nuclear regulator forced to review aircraft crash risk

July 25, 2012    The nuclear regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation, acknowledges that if a large aircraft were to accidentally crash onto the Dungeness nuclear site it has the potential to cause its most severe ‘Target 9’ accident, killing more than 100 people. Over the last 5 years its rationale for not objecting to the proposed expansion of nearby Lydd Airport is an assertion that the probability of such an accident is low enough to be ignored. This is despite the development introducing larger, heavier planes than the small aircraft which operate from Lydd today. Finally, the ONR now admits that it may have “got it wrong”. As a result it has decided to set up a technical advisory panel to take a grass roots review of the model as well as consider a proposal to introduce a minimum separation policy as the only robust way of managing this large scale accident risk.   Click here to view full story…


New report shows the UK nuclear regulator was wrong in not opposing Lydd Airport’s planning application

April 24, 2012    A decision on whether to allow expansion of Lydd airport was due in March 2012 from Eric Pickles, but this has been delayed for an unknown length of time. Meanwhile, the Lydd Airport Action Group has commissioned a new report from a doctor at Imperial College that shows the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) was wrong to conclude that the probability of an accident at Dungeness resulting from the introduction of heavy aircraft taking off and landing from Lydd Airport would be so low that it could be ignored. The Imperial College study showed that Dungeness A, which ceased power generation in 2006, would still be a risk if hit by a plane. Dungeness B, which is still working, would be a safety risk, being only 3 miles from the airport, and built before any consideration was given to the risk of a hit by a heavy aircraft.   Click here to view full story…

Anger that Inspector’s decision on Lydd airport will not be publicised yet

March 8, 2012     Government inspector Ken Barton chaired the 7-month inquiry into Lydd Airport’s expansion plans in 2011. This probably cost the tax payer up to £250,000. The decision has to be made by 14th March. However, it has been announced that this will not be made public until after ministers Eric Pickles and Justine Greening have made their decision. And there is no deadline by which they have to do so. There is speculation that they may not decide until next year, perhaps because the national aviation policy consultation starts by the end of this month, and this will have a bearing on whether expansion on Lydd is acceptable. There is local anger and frustration that the decision is being kept secret.    Click here to view full story…

Lydd Airport. Project runway: carving up the Kent marshes

Decision by Eric Pickles due in March

February 26, 2012    In a long and comprehensive article in the Observer Magazine, Jamie Doward looks at the issues involved in proposed expansion of Lydd airport, to take up to 2 million passengers – a massive growth from its current, sleepy state with around 1,000 passenger per year. The area is of immense wildlife value, being a NNR, SSSI, SPA and SAC. A decision by government is due in about a fortnight. The article says: ” If Pickles approves the airport’s expansion he will be going against the government’s adviser, Natural England, Shepway’s planning officers, the majority of Lydd’s residents, the scientific consensus on the need to reduce carbon emissions, the prime minister’s perceived green credentials and the coalition’s belief in empowering communities as enshrined in its much-vaunted localism act.” If government does approve it, “The whole character of the place would change because, as studies show, airports lead to urbanisation.”    Click here to view full story…

Alleged corrupt payments to Shepway District Councillors for Lydd runway extension

December 29, 2011     Private Eye’s “Rotten Boroughs Awards 2011” lists Zaher Deir, former boss of Lydd Airport in Kent, who told a court that unusual spending patterns on his company credit card were accounted for by “gifts” to Shepway councillors who were to determine a planning application for a runway extension. Shepway Green Party and Lydd Airport Action Group are among those demanding a full investigation and the local MP agrees. An inspector is due to rule in March 2012 on whether the runway extension is to be allowed.   Click here to view full story…

Public Inquiry ended on 16th September.

Lydd airport says “Lydd Airport ‘could take strain off Gatwick and Heathrow’ “

 17th September 2011     Airport managers say they can become an operation big enough to save people a trip to Gatwick or Heathrow if they can expand. The public inquiry ended on 16th September. Opponents argued Lydd Airport was not needed and objected on the grounds of environment, safety and need. The airport hopes to become a local regional airport, serving local people, and provide some much-needed jobs to the local community. Permission for the runway extension has been given.  Click here to view full story…

Call for Lydd Airport expansion inquiry to be extended

 1st September 2011    Campaigners opposing the airport’s expansion plans have called for a public inquiry, which ends in 2 weeks, to be extended. The airport in Kent wants to lengthen its runway and build a new terminal to provide an international service. The new runway would be within 0.3 miles of Greatstone Primary School, and campaigners want more evidence on the noise impacts on the school as it was important the childrens’ education did not suffer.    Click here to view full story…

Two miles of 9 foot high fencing missing from Lydd Airport planning application: Public inquiry likely to be delayed

22nd August 2011     LAAG has discovered following investigations made with the DfT and the CAA that under UK law – the National Aviation Security Programme –  Lydd Airport will be required to security fence the perimeter of the airport with 9 ft high barbed wire topped, chain link fencing, which must be buried in concrete.  Airport management should have included the plans for the fencing in their application.  Under planning law the impact needs to be scientifically assessed.  Click here to view full story…

Lydd Airport Inquiry – local MP backs airport expansion, and noise concern for local schoolchildren

13th July 2011   Damian Collins gave his backing to the expansion plans of Lydd airport at the public inquiry. His information was not entirely accurate. As usual, any expansion will be backed locally if there is the prospect of jobs – Lydd is suggesting there will be 200 new jobs.  CPRE Kent has taken up the cause of the local primary school which is within a third of a mile of the extended runway, and given evidence on damage to cognitive skills in school from aircraft noise   Click here to view full story…

No village on Romney Marsh will be untouched by the Development.

10.3.2011  Map shows Approved Flight Paths.


9.7.2011KentishExpress reports from Lydd Airport Public Inquiry

UK Ex Principle Planning Inspector tells Public Inquiry that application for Lydd Airport’s expansion should be refused

 6th July 2011      The UK’s former Principal Planning Inspector Anthony Bingham, with 50 years experience in planning and development, told the public inquiry that he had never encountered proposals that were so contrary to so many planning policies and said  ”I urge the Inspector to come to the same conclusion and to recommend refusal of the application to the Secretary of State”. He showed how the plans fail to satisfy over 20 specific policies from the Shepway Local Plan.   Click here to view full story…
05.07.11 Public have their say at Lydd Airport inquiry
27.06.11 First phase of Lydd Airport upgrade opened

Lydd Airport Inquiry resumes: Dungeness as a Fukushima in the making?

16th May 2011    At Lydd Airport’s public inquiry on May 18th, LAAG begins its nuclear safety case with Chartered Consulting Engineer, John Large demonstrating that it is inherently unsafe for a regional airport to be developed beside a nuclear power station complex.  John believes the reactor would most likely withstand the aircraft crash, but subsidiary equipment failures caused by the crash could lead to a very significant radiological release, mirroring the situation at Fukushima.  Click here to view full story…

Lydd Airport Inquiry in recess until May 9th 2011

LAAG writes on 7.4.2011: As predicted this weeks timetable at the Inquiry ended last night, two days earlier than scheduled, presumably after Statements of Common Ground were signed between English Nature and Lydd Airport and Kent Wildlife Trust and Lydd airport.
The details of what was agreed, what actions the airport is committed to take to mitigate any harm which might have arisen to the ditches & ecology will, in time, be made public.


Lydd Airport Inquiry: Nuclear waste inadequate security shock at Dungeness

31st March 2011    Local residents living near the Dungeness Nuclear power plant were shocked to learn that there has been no security assessment of sabotage or terrorist threat, undertaken on the rail transport of the intensely radioactive spent nuclear fuel from the remote Denge railhead. They are extremely concerned that the Nuclear Inspectorate has not appropriately assessed the risk of aircraft crash damage arising from the proposed development at Lydd Airport.   Click here to view full story…


Lydd airport public inquiry plods along

27th March 2011    The public inquiry into plans by Lydd airport to expand started on 22nd February. It is likely to continue for 13 weeks.  Lydd Airport Action Group says the plans should be rejected as the site is inappropriate for a regional airport.  Among other organisations presenting evidence at the Inquiry are CPRE Protect Kent, and the RSPB.  Dungeness is a highly valuable wildlife area for birds in particular, which would be badly affected by a larger airport.     Click here to view full story…

Lydd airport. Public inquiry evidence on bird strike; Lush, cosmetics and arms dealing

4th March 2011     The Lydd public inquiry got going on 22nd February. The RSPB has been giving extensive evidence on ornithology, the importance of Dungeness as bird habitat, and the danger of bird strike -especially close to a nuclear reactor.  And Private Eye has weighed in with insights into the origin of funding from Lush, and the funding for the airport – allegedly – from arms dealing by Sheikh Fahad al-Athel.     Click here to view full story…

Lydd Airport: local resident group sends simple message to the Secretary of State: “This is an inappropriate site for a regional airport”

23rd February 2011    The Lydd Airport Action Airport Group (LAAG) QC, Matthew Horton told the Lydd Airport Public Inquiry at the Tuesday 22nd February opening session: “A simple common sense approach would dictate that Lydd Airport is an inappropriate site for a regional airport, direction to this effect should have been given much earlier in the planning and regulatory process. We would like this simple message to be conveyed to the secretary of state.”      Click here to view full story…

Nuclear risk from plane crashes is higher than estimated, Lydd inquiry shows

23rd February 2011      The risk that planes will crash into nuclear plants and release potentially lethal clouds of radioactivity is significantly higher than official estimates, according to expert evidence to the Lydd airport expansion public inquiry.  Studies submitted to the inquiry cast doubt on assurances from the government’s HSE that the dangers of accidental plane crashes are too small to worry about, and could underestimate the risk by 20%. (Guardian)      Click here to view full story…


Lydd Airport public inquiry kicks off

25.2.2011   Determined to block plans for the runway extension and increase passenger capacity from under 600 passengers in 2009 to half a million, the RSPB will highlight the potential environmental damage such an expansion would cause. The society believes that such a huge development of such a small airport would destroy the natural tranquillity of Dungeness, a renowned birdwatching area and site of one of the RSPB’s key reserves. Its remarkable wildlife could disappear due to the massive disturbance that a large airport would cause.  Link to article on the BirdWatch website…..

Arab millionaire’s plan for Kent airport meets mass opposition

Independent article   15.2.2011 by Michael McCarthy

Lydd Airport inquiry may cost £150,000

1st October 2010    Up to £150,000 could be spent by Shepway Council on a public inquiry into plans to expand Lydd Airport. Councillors are due to meet to decide if funds can be moved from other budget areas to pay for legal advice, staff costs and consultants. The plans were passed by the Tory-run council in March but the Government Office for the South East decided a public inquiry must be held. The inquiry is due to start on 15 February and sit for 16 days. (BBC)   Click here to view full story…

Lydd Airport chief Jonathan Gordon steps down

8th July 2010    Lydd Airport’s managing director has resigned after the airport’s £25m expansion plans were called in by the Government. Jonathan Gordon said it would be in the “best interests” of the project. Mr Gordon, who was brought into the expansion project in August, spoke of his busy schedule as a consultant to other aviation organisations. The senior management team at Lydd has taken overall control of the business and will fight the public inquiry.  Click here to view full story…

Lydd Airport Action Group welcomes Public Inquiry

24th June 2010     LAAG welcomed the decision of the Secretary of State for DCLG, Eric Pickles, to call in Lydd Airport’s planning application for a public inquiry. The case for a public inquiry was compelling as the application satisfied 4 of the 5 government criteria to determine if a inquiry should take place. These include conflict with national policy on important matters; significant effects beyond the immediate locality; and substantial regional or national controversy.     Click here to view full story…

“Queen’s Speech does NOT support Lydd Airport’s expansion”

7.6.2010   The Lydd Area Action Group is delighted that the Queen’s Speech confirmed that the new coalition government only supports airport development “within the constraints of the existing runway infrastructure.” Lydd airport operates now at about 1% of its current capacity – it had less than 2,000 passengers in 2009, and made a loss of £2 million in 2009. Manston also operates at a tiny % of capacity and makes a huge loss – so Kent has huge excess capacity already.   Click here to view full story…

Green party ask EU to investigate Lydd airport decision

 21.4.2010   The approval of plans for the expansion of Lydd airport by Shepway Council has been taken to the European Commission over concerns that the expansion could seriously affect residents’ quality of life and damage the area’s natural heritage. Caroline Lucas, Green Euro-MP for Kent and the South East and Party leader, has written to EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik to request an investigation into the threat posed to two nature sites around Dungeness in Kent by the planned expansion.

Lydd airport decision delayed again – now after Election

 11.4.2010    The Government Office for the South East has moved the date for its decision on whether the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government should review the expansion of Lydd airport, in Kent, to after the General Election. The decision was due on 22nd April but has now been moved to 11th June following the announcement that an election is to be held on May 6th. 

Government puts Lydd Airport expansion plans on hold

 15.3.2010  Just days after a controversial airport expansion was approved the  government has urged Shepway District Council to hold fire and not grant planning permission for a new terminal building and a runway until April 22. That’s despite the plans being approved by councilors at a seven-hour meeting on March 3. The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government wants time to decide whether or not he wants to look over the plans.  link



Lydd highlights battle between airport expansion and eco-concerns

10th April 2010     The vote by Shepway councillors to approve the expansion proposals has hardened battle lines. Climate-change campaigners and environmentalists defending wildlife sanctuaries now confront flying enthusiasts and those eager to bring jobs to an area with few large employers. The Sec of State at DCLG is due to decide on 11th June on a public inquiry. Current policy is to use existing landing capacity wherever possible before building Boris Island. (Guardian)    Click here to view full story…

Lydd Airport – Long Legal Battle Ahead

 4th March 2010   Shepway District Councillors have ignored the recommendations of their planning officers and voted to support Lydd’s application for a runway extension and new terminal. Lydd Area Action Group’s legal advisor Matthew Horton QC has confirmed that the decision is contrary to European Law as the councillors have not correctly interpreted the Habitats Regulations.  LAAG has now requested the GOSE to call in this planning application for a public inquiry.  (LAAG)  Click here to view full story…

Lydd plans approved against all advice – needs a public inquiry

4th March 2010    The RSPB, along with a huge range of other organisations and individuals, has expressed disappointment and concern at the decision by Shepway District Councillors to go against the recommendations of their own officers, Natural England and legal and policy requirements by approving the plans to expand Lydd airport. RSPB for SE England said it is difficult to understand how the Councillors can have reached this decision against advice and public opinion. (RSPB)       Click here to view full story…

Shepway District Council approves plans to expand Lydd Airport

4th March 2010   Two planning applications – one for a runway extension and one for a new terminal building – have been approved by Shepway councillors by 27 votes to 12. The plans were approved despite a planning officer’s report recommending that the application be refused on the grounds that noise and damage to natural habitats would outweigh any economic benefit that the airport expansion would bring. CPRE Kent said “The environmental impact is going to be devastating.”   Click here to view full story…


Michael Howard supports Lydd Airport – house price compensation is not the answer

2nd March 2010   Michael Howard has announced his support for Lydd Airport’s large scale development and his backing of Jonathan Gordon, Managing Director of Lydd Airport. LAAG has always suspected that Michael Howard introduced Jonathan Gordon to Sheikh Fahad al Athel through his connection with Jonathan Aitken. Michael Howard and Lydd Airport have acknowledged that the airport will reduce house prices. (LAAG)
Click here to view full story…


Lydd Airport – New Flight Paths

19th January 2010    Since the publication of the Shepway District Officer’s Report on July 1st, 2009, the CAA has approved new instrument approach procedures for Lydd Airport . This is material new evidence. The new flight paths will bring noise to more people. LAAG believes the planning application’s determination should be delayed until the impact of these flight paths has been evaluated. There are now instrument approach procedures for both runways.   Click here to view full story…



Lydd Airport determination to be on 3rd March 2010

28th October 2009     The meeting to determine Lydd Airport’s planning application will take place on Wednesday 3rd March 2010 at Shepway District Council. The local group, LAAG, have found out through FoI that the airport challenged Shepway District Council’s Officer’s Report, published July 1st 2009, and the long delay in getting determination has been due to the council accommodating the airport’s wish to overcome the objection. (LAAG)
Click here to view full story…


Lydd Airport’s planning application – decision postponed again

8th September 2009    Shepway District Council have again delayed the date for the detmination of the application by Lydd Airport for expansion. The date would have been 24th Sept, but will now be “Feb/March 2010”. Shepway District Council’s planning officers recommended in their report published on July 1st, 2009 that Lydd Airport’s planning application be rejected largely on environmental grounds. The airport has been unable to provide assurances about environmental damage. (LAAG)    Click here to view full story…

  Lydd – Matthew Horton Q.C. to represent LAAG on 24th Sept  (now postponed)

27th July 2009     Lydd Airport Action Group (LAAG) is pleased to announce that Matthew Horton QC will represent Lydd Airport Action Group at Shepway’s full council meeting to determine Lydd Airport’s planning application for a runway extension and new terminal.  Mr. Horton is recognized as one of the foremost barristers’ in the country specializing in Planning and Environmental law. The full council meeting will now be held on Thursday September 24th, 2009 at 7pm. (LAAG)     Click here to view full story…

Lydd Airport – Determination Postponed until September  24th – (postponed again)

30th June 2009    Alistair Stewart (CEO of Shepway District Council) has advised that determination of the Lydd airport application is to be postponed until September 23rd – the second postponement. The planning officers report will still be published on July 1st. The airport hopes to be allowed to extend its runway and erect new buildings, to enable it to expand to 500,000 passengers per year. (LAAG)    Click here to view full story…

Shepway District Council’s planning officers’ report recommends that planning permission for both the runway extension and the new terminal be refused  (see below for details)



European Habitats Legal Opinion in LAAG’s Favour

2nd February 2009     A leading planning barrister, Matthew Horton QC has expressed a legal opinion in favour of Lydd Airport Action Group’s contention that Lydd Airport’s Master Plan should be taken into account in the assessment (Appropriate Assessment) which determines the adverse impact Lydd Airport’s expansion plans will have on the European protected habitats that surround its runway. Lydd Airport’s Master Plan sets plans to grow numbers to 2 million passengers per annum. (LAAG)     Click here to view full story…

Have your say on new Dungeness C nuclear power plant plan close to Lydd

 3rd January 2009    Plans for a third nuclear power station at Dungeness will be discussed at a series of public meetings next month. With one of its reactors now closed and the other nearing the end of its life, owner British Energy has earmarked the site as an obvious location for one of a new generation of plants. There will be 6 meetings between January 13 and 29. A potential third reactor would produce a maximum output of 1,600MW and jobs for 60 years. (Kent News)      Click here to view full story…


News from the Lydd Airport Action Group website:
18.5.2009  Lydd Airport’s expansion conflicts with new South East Plan
20.4.2009   Lydd and Manston Airports Report Losses
 2.2.2009   European Habitats Legal Opinion in LAAG’s Favour
8 December 2008     LAAG approaches European Commission over potential infringement of Habitats Regulation

3 November 2008     Lydd Airport’s Planning Application – Opposition Reiterated

13 October 2008     Lydd Airport’s Expansion – Nuclear Safety Remains an Issue

14 May 2008     Inappropriate behaviour of Councillor Paul Carter

8 Jan  2008    LAAG Appoints Legal Advisor

05.11.08 Lydd Airport expansion – ‘nuclear safety remains an issue’
02.11.08 Lydd Airport boss expects to benefit from BAA sell off
01.08.08 Former F1 ace crashes van on way to Lydd Airport

19.05.08 Lydd Airport campaigner’s councillor complaint
06.05.08 Lydd Airport dims lights
28.01.08 Lydd Airport Action Group appoints legal advisor
27.01.08 Lydd Airport airshow cancelled due to lack of sponsor

22.01.08 Lydd Airport expansion debate postponed

Bird strike risk a major hazard for Lydd  (RSPB)   10.1.2008
Lydd Airport airshow cancelled due to lack of sponsor    (21.1.2008  UK Airport News)
British Energy objects to Lydd Airport expansion plans    (2.1.2008  UK Airport News)
London Ashford Airport says survey shows local support     (13.11.2007  UK Airport News)
Referendums reject London Ashford Airport plans   (6.4.2007)
Huge vote in favour of London Ashford Airport referendums  (15.3.2007)
Trials for passenger jet at London Ashford Airport    (25.2.2007)
Referendum sought on London Ashford (Lydd) Airport expansion plan    (13.2.2007  UK Airport News)
Row intensifies over London Ashford (Lydd) Airport expansion plans   (7.2.2007   UK Airport News)
Consultant criticises Lydd Airport information     (14.1.2007  UK Airport News)
Call for block to London Ashford Airport expansion plans     (8.1.2007)
London Ashford Airport submits expansion plans    (19.12.2006)
Expansion of Lydd Airport, Kent   (RSPB )    December 2006
Public meetings over London Ashford Airport expansion plan      (29.3.2006)
Lydd Airshow details announced        (2.2.2006  UK Airport News)
Shepway District Council   1.7.2009    Shepway District Council’s planning officers’ report recommends that planning permission for both the runway extension and the new terminal be refused largely as a result of the airport’s failure to demonstrate that the development will not have an adverse impact on the protected habitats that surround the airport’s runway – See summary below
This is an excellent result but the final decision rests with Shepway District Councillors on September 23rd.
Louise Barton
Lydd Airport Action Group
1. The Bureau Veritas Appropriate Assessment report in Appendix 7 be agreed and adopted by the council, as the competent authority, concluding that the proposals for a runway extension and new terminal and car park will have significant adverse effects, including uncertainty about some of the effects, on the integrity of the European sites having regard to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and Regulation 48 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats and c) Regulations 1994.
2. That planning permission be refused for the runway extension (Y06/1648/SH) and the new terminal and car park (Y06/1647/SH) on the following grounds:
a) The proposals will result in significant adverse effects on the integrity of the Dungeness Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Dungeness to Pett Level Special Protection Area (SPA), including uncertainty about some of the effects.  Consequently, the proposals are contrary to Shepway District Local Plan Review policies CO8 and TR15, South East Plan policy NRM5 and PPS9.
b) The proposals will result in significant adverse effects on the Dungeness, Romney Marsh and Rye Bay Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Dungeness National Nature Reserve, contrary to Shepway District Local Plan Review policy CO9, South East Plan policy NRM5 and PPS9.
c) The applications have not considered sufficiently the effects upon the pRAMSAR and pSPA. The council considers the proposals are likely to result in significant adverse effects, which is a material planning consideration, being potentially contrary to Shepway District Local Plan Review policy CO8, South East Plan policy NRM5 and PPS9.
d) There will be adverse noise effects on the local community, especially near the airport, and some of these are considered materially significant.  Whilst the effects can be partially mitigated, not all of them can.  There will also be some other limited adverse effects in the area, including the enjoyment of the Romney Marsh and Dungeness area generally, and the Kent Downs AONB.  Consequently the proposals are considered contrary to Shepway District Local Plan Review policy SD1, particularly SD1 (k) and to a lesser extent (c) and (d).
e) Whilst the expansion and associated investment in the local economy is a welcome prospect, the adverse effects on the SPA, SAC, SSSI, pSPA, pRAMSAR, local community and other features mean that the planning applications should be refused.   Furthermore, given there is no overriding strategic justification for the proposals the adverse effects make them
unsustainable in the planning policy context, being contrary to Shepway District Local Plan Review policy SD1 and South East Plan policy CC1.
3. In addition to the reasons above, planning permission for the new terminal and car park (Y06/1647/SH) be refused for the following reason:
f) Upgrade works would be required to the junction formed by the B2075 (Romney Road) and the A259 (Lydd Road), known as “Hammonds Corner’.  Natural England and the council are of the opinion that protected species surveys should be undertaken prior to any applications for the new terminal and car park being considered.   A planning authority when making a planning decision should be in receipt of a full set of information to enable it to reach a fully informed decision in accordance with best practice and national policy (PPS9), taking account of Shepway District Local Plan Review policies CO9 and CO11 and South East Plan policy
In coming to this decision, regard has been had to the following policies:
(Page 52)
Shepway District Local Plan Review – SD1, BE1, BE2, BE7, BE15, BE16, U1a, U2, U4,
U6, U7, U8, U9, U10, U10a, U15, TR1, TR2, TR5, TR6, TR8, TR11, TR12, TR13, TR15,
CO1, CO3, CO4, CO5, Co8, CO9, CO10, CO11, CO12, CO13, CO14, CO15
The South East Plan – BE6, CC1, CC2, CC4, CC7, PPS9, SP2, T1, T2, T5, T4, T8, T9,
T14, NRM1, NRM4, NRM5, NRM7, NRM9. NRM10, NRM11, NRM12, W2 and M1.