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