Ex­pan­sion op­po­nents ‘are be­ing favoured’

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

THE Friends of Lydd Air­port Group, which is in favour of it be­com­ing big­ger and busier is claim­ing that its op­po­nents are be­ing given pref­er­en­tial treat­ment.

Michael Walsh, of FLAG, said he be­lieves the Lydd Air­port Action Group, is a key player in the con­sul­ta­tion process, when FLAG is not.

He claims this al­lows them to be privy to all in­for­ma­tion and re­ports on the air­port plans, while FLAG strug­gles to get in­for­ma­tion from Shep­way District Coun­cil.

He said: “Since the early 1990s LAAG has been a con­sul­tee in the plan­ning process. It is be­ing given the same sta­tus as the likes of Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil or Can­ter­bury City Coun­cil, which is un­prece­dented for an action group.

“We re­quest that we are given the same sta­tus as LAAG. If we are not we will seek a ju­di­cial re­view into the en­tire plan­ning process re­gard­ing Lydd Air­port.”

Louise Bar­ton, of LAAG, said she be­lieved both sides were be­ing treated equally.

Sarah Smith, spokesman for Shep­way District Coun­cil, de­nied Mr Walsh’s claims.

She said: “We have a range con­sul­tees, in­clud­ing statu­tory con­sul­tees – like Nat­u­ral Eng­land and the En­vi­ron­ment Agency – groups and or­gan­i­sa­tions, town and parish coun­cils and in­di­vid­u­als who have re­quested in­for­ma­tion.

“LAAG has re­quested in­for­ma­tion since the cur­rent ex­pan­sion plans at Lydd Air­port be­came pub­lic, but this in­for­ma­tion is also avail­able to any­one who wishes to see it. We take all com­ments se­ri­ously and aim to treat any group, or­gan­i­sa­tion or in­di­vid­ual equally, whether they sup­port or op­pose the plans.”

Cllr Michael Walsh is up­set by the con­sul­ta­tion process

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