Vote yes or no on air­port ex­pan­sion

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION - by Jenny Round

THE peo­ple of Lydd have voted to hold a ref­er­en­dum to gauge opin­ion about the pro­posed air­port ex­pan­sion.

More than 200 peo­ple packed St Peter’s Church, Great­stone, last Wed­nes­day, March 7, for the pub­lic meet­ing.

Orig­i­nally due to be held in the church hall, the venue was changed due to health and safety con­cerns be­cause of the high num­ber of peo­ple.

Fol­low­ing a late start, the Mayor of Lydd, Cllr Chris Al­brow, who chaired the meet­ing, asked res­i­dents if they wanted a poll.

Lydd res­i­dent Trevor Boulden pro­posed that a poll be held and was sec­onded by Sue Ash­worth, also of Lydd. A to­tal of 94 reg­is­tered elec­tors stood up to vote in favour of hold­ing a ref­er­en­dum and just five voted against.

The an­nounce­ment that a poll would be held was met with rap­tur­ous ap­plause.

The ques­tion res­i­dents will be asked to an­swer is:

Do you sup­port the pro­posed ex­pan­sion of Lydd (Lon­don Ash­ford) Air­port in­clud­ing any run­way ex­ten­sion? Yes or No.

Cllr Al­brow re­minded res­i­dents that the poll will not be en­force­able and that the de­ci­sion will re­main with Shep­way coun­cil, or the Sec­re­tary of State if it goes to a pub­lic in­quiry.

The plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions are for a new ter­mi­nal build­ing, ca­pa­ble of han­dling up to 500,000 pas­sen­gers a year, and a run­way ex­ten­sion.

The cost of hold­ing a poll is es­ti­mated at £3,000, which will be met by the town or parish coun­cil.

The ref­er­en­dum must be held within 25 work­ing days from the day it was de­manded.

It is thought that the poll con­cern­ing the air­port and a sep­a­rate one called to con­sider the treat­ment of the coastal area by Lydd Town Coun­cil will be held to­gether.

Pic­ture: Dave Downey pd1166424

Res­i­dents vote at one of the meet­ings

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