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Date: Fri, 4 Oct 2002 14:11:04 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Cliffe Airport proposal

new airport proposed for North Kent

The airport, or 'hub', will be 5 runways - over twice the size of Heathrow with its 2 runways. This proposal will destroy hundreds of acres of ecologically important marshland, watercourses and natural habitats for thousands of birds and other rare species. They plan to move up to 300,000 birds 30 miles up the coast to Reculver - after they have thrown many more people out of their homes and spent £350 million to make that area suitable! Apart from destroying the Marshes that have lain undeveloped since time began, at least 1800 homes will be demolished, totally obliterating 2 villages, throwing several thousand people out of their homes. As time goes on this will take another 4 whole communities, schools, churches etc. and equate to nearer 7000 homes.

The area has its own micro-climate, thick sea-mists descend in moments and hang around for hours, and gale force winds are common. They can't move the weather 30 miles up the coast!

63% of the proposal are is designated floodplain. Covering this with concrete will greatly increase flooding in the surrounding areas (the most densely populated area of the south-east outside of London) and would increase flooding up river at Yalding, Maidstone and other areas that are already in a severe flood risk area.

As well as increasing pollution and traffic for miles around, thousands more houses will be built in surrounding towns/green belt to house the 80,000 workers who will have to come into the area (only 2,000 unemployed in Medway, 19,000 in the whole of Kent) and the people thrown out to make way for the airport, (that's in addition to the 250,000 extra houses the government say Kent must build!), leading to more stress on already overloaded local services, plus aircraft noise/pollution for hundreds of thousands of people in Kent/Essex for the first time - unlike those who chose to live around established airports who expect the noise, we'll have no choice!

The whole of the Isle of Grain plus parts of Medway and Gravesham will become a huge airport service area, swathes of countryside will become motorway - there is currently just one 'main' road, small and very dangerous, onto the Isle so motorway links are planned for Gravesend, Strood and Gillingham areas, plus a new bridge over the Thames to connect to Essex and the massive container port being planned there. Part of the Thames on the Essex side is to be reclaimed to build the container port, with compensation for this scheme supposedly on the Kent side. BUT, the airport will be eating into the area, reducing drastically the amount of the compensation.

The skies around the South-East are already over-crowded from 2 major airports and several smaller ones (which are destined to increase in size as well) and the addition of one of the largest airports in the world will increase the very real risk of fatal 'accidents' over heavily populated areas (The airport would also be adjacent to a power station!) Air Traffic Control are against the proposal, but apparently there are plans to change the way air traffic is controlled thereby getting round their objection. They have said that the only way Cliffe would be feasible is if other South-East airports closed or reduced their flights. That could be part of the plan - land prices around Heathrow and Gatwick are some of the the highest in the country - all that money to be made!!

If this scheme gets the go-ahead there will be nothing to stop the government getting away with similar schemes in any part of the country. In addition to a similar but slightly smaller plan for Rugby, there are, as yet un-published, plans for another 4 around the country - one in Bristol, one in Scotland, the other two likely to be East Anglia region and the north of England.

Here's a list of the various sites that will be destroyed by this proposal (there are several of each, covering the whole area) -

Site of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI)
Salt Marsh
Mud Flats
Great Crested Newts
Ancient Woodland
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Special Protection Area (SPA)
Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA)
National Nature Reserve
Grade 1 farmland
Important Archealogical sites

Well you get the idea!!!

The consultation period ends in November so we're doing all we can to stop it being given the go-ahead. I already know that a major statutory consultee will NOT be objecting to the proposal - giving the green light to the others to give it the green light too! There are plans afoot to set up camp there, but it would be far better if we could stop it before it got that far.

Further details on the proposal, and how you can help, can be found on

There's links on the site to various other campaigns including the RSPB campaign. Lots of posts on the message board too. (King Arthur is also keeping a very close eye on it.)

There is an online petition at the following site, but your voice would be heard more loudly if you write a letter yourself:

Thank you for your support. This is not just a local issue affecting a part of Kent: if the government is allowed to get away with this in such a sensitive place, then NOWHERE is safe.

road protests 2002   |   road protests (current)   |   movement links