Air­port pro­test­ers take fight to Europe

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Jane Bar­low jbar­low@thek­m­

THE group op­posed to plans to ex­pand Lydd Air­port has taken the case to the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion.

Lydd Air­port Action Group this week sent in­for­ma­tion to the EC warn­ing that habi­tats that are pro­tected by Euro­pean leg­is­la­tion could be threat­ened if the de­vel­op­ment is given the go-ahead.

It also ex­pressed con­cerns to the EC that the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion be­fore Shep­way District Coun­cil is based on 500,000 pas­sen­gers a year us­ing the air­port. LAAG said the air­port’s masterp- lan en­vis­ages two mil­lion us­ing the ter­mi­nal in the fu­ture and that when as­sess­ing the im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment this should be taken into ac­count.

Chair­man of LAAG Louise Bar­ton said: “This is their goal so this should be taken into ac­count. We have said this to Shep­way on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions.

“As the leg­is­la­tion pro­tect­ing the habi­tats came from Europe we are tak­ing this to them.”

Lydd Air­port is sur­rounded by habi­tats that are pro­tected by Euro­pean leg­is­la­tion.

Sarah Smith, a spokesman for Shep­way District Coun­cil, said: “Shep­way coun­cil is con­sid­er­ing two plan­ning applications which cater for a growth in pas­sen­gers of up to 500,000 a year. Part of the plan­ning process will be to as­sess the applications un­der the Habi­tat Reg­u­la­tions based on this fig­ure.

“Any other ex­pan­sion am­bi­tions are as­pi­ra­tional and could only be achieved through new plan­ning applications and new plan­ning per­mis­sions.”

A de­ci­sion on the plans will be made by the full coun­cil early in 2009.

A 737 jet per­forms take-off and land­ing tri­als at the air­port to give res­i­dents an idea of what the noise would be like if the ex­pan­sion goes ahead

Louise Bar­ton

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