Nu­clear power sta­tion? Er, that’s the other Kingsnorth

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Michael DeFroand mde­froand@thek­m­group.co.uk

ONE is the site of a huge power sta­tion, the fo­cus of a volatile cli­mate camp protest last sum­mer.

The other is a vil­lage on the out­skirts of Ash­ford.

With 25 miles separat­ing them the two lo­ca­tions would seem worlds apart, ex­cept for one thing... they’re both called Kingsnorth.

But that fact proved the un­do­ing of a Gov­ern­ment depart­ment who pre­pared a hefty doc­u­ment on the fu­ture of nu­clear power sta­tions in the coun­try.

It lists Wood­church air­field as one of the rea­sons why a nu­clear power sta­tion should not be built in Kingsnorth, Ash­ford, af­ter it was ap­par­ently mis­taken for its Med­way-based name­sake.

Rob Davies, owner of the air­field and or­gan­iser of the Wood­church War­birds air­show, took a nat­u­ral in­ter­est when he was alerted by a fel- low pi­lot to his airstrip be­ing men­tioned in the doc­u­ment.

Mr Davies said: “Early on the doc­u­ments talks about Kingsnorth power sta­tion, but then they com­pletely lose the thread. It is a Gov­ern­ment doc­u­ment which has cost an aw­ful lot of money and it is wrong.”

The doc­u­ment, which runs to hun­dreds of pages, comes from the Depart­ment of En­ergy and Cli­mate Change. It is called Con­sul­ta­tion on Draft Na­tional Pol­icy State­ments for En­ergy In­fra­struc­ture and cen­tres on the fu­ture of nu­clear power sta­tions.

Mr Davies added: “It talks about Kingsnorth, Ash­ford, and how you couldn’t build a nu­clear power sta­tion on the out­skirts of Ash­ford.

“I thought it was just a typo and then I read on. It starts off about the air­field and the Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity and Hamil­ton Farm, which is east of Kingsnorth and men­tions Wood­church and specif­i­cally, men­tions Wood­church War­birds, which is west of Kingsnorth.”

9/11

While Ash­ford has never know­ingly been con­sid­ered as a site for a nu­clear power sta­tion, the ex­ist­ing du­al­fired coal and oil power sta­tion in Kingsnorth on the Hoo Penin­sula at Med­way has been there since work first started on it in 1963.

Since 9/11, the prox­im­ity of air­craft to power sta­tions, par­tic­u­larly nu­clear ones, has be­come a se­ri­ous con­cern.

Mr Davies said: “Through­out Europe and the US, there are re­stricted zones around power sta­tions. You are not al­lowed be­low 2,000 feet and within a cir­cle of two nau­ti­cal miles of one.”

The Depart­ment of En­ergy and Cli­mate Change con­firmed that the ref­er­ence to Kingsnorth, Ash­ford, was an er­ror, made in con­nec­tion with the civil avi­a­tion as­sess­ment.

He­len MacBain of the DECC said: “The con­sul­tant en­gi­neer has con­firmed that on one of the 10 cri­te­ria (Prox­im­ity to Civil Air­craft Ac­tiv­ity cri­te­rion) its as­sess­ment was of Kingsnorth, Ash­ford, rather than Kingsnorth, Med­way.”

Kingsnorth Power Sta­tion and, inset: Church Hill, Kingsnorth, Ash­ford

Rob Davies, owner of the air­field

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