Lydd airport expansion threatens Romney Marsh

Malcolm Dyer MDyer004 at
Thu Jan 19 13:43:01 GMT 2006

Threat to Romney Marsh from Lydd Airport expansion plans

Apparently as part of its 'expansion' plans Lydd Airport (Romney Marsh
Kent) bosses (Saudi owners!) allowed a 737 jet to fly in over the weekend.

The Keep The Marsh Special Alliance is trying to highlight the arrogance of this with local media....

Lydd,(London-Ashford)Airport, or as they undoubtedly prefer to be known as, 'London-Ashford Airport', have thrown down the gauntlet by flying in a 737 jet on Friday evening, to where it sat resplendent in it's white and red livery on the spotlit tarmac, until 10.15am on Sunday when it roared into the heavens over Romney Marsh.

This caused consternation among people living from Dymchurch to Lydd. The noise level was very considerable even over two miles away. The real issue is whether London-Ashford Airport are likely to continue in this vein up and until judgement day when the Secretary of State will adjudicate on their future.

It appears to be perfectly acceptable to them to go ahead with major
aviation movements in the face of the very real expressed concerns of
major national environmental bodies - the RSPB and English Nature. London - Ashford Airport must consider their judgement to be superior and of greater worth that of these learned organisations.

London-Ashford Airport invite complaints through a given phone number
which is, in fact their reception desk, (01797 322411). If you call them all they are really interested in is your name, location and how long you have lived in the area. They really are not interested in answering questions about the same matters relating to their management and owners.

Fortunately, Shepway District Council are monitoring local concerns - just as well - the Airport doing this role is letting the fox judge the chickens...

RSPB South East are so worried now, that after several meetings at their Brighton Office, they have appointed someone with direct and exclusive responsibility to work with us to fight the Airport! This is Joanna Butler. She will work alongside Alison Giacomelli, RSPB SE Conservation Officer, who has been fighting the RSPB's case until now.

There are huge expanses of open water in the vicinity due to continuing gravel extraction. These support major wetland bird populations and the RSPB monitor them annually. If London-Ashford Airport beat us they will become major players in deciding the fate of these areas as 'statutoy consultees' working under the guidance of the Civil Aviation Authority who stipulate that such bird populations must be 'discouraged' within 13km of the runways, (i.e, all of the Marshlands).

English Nature are very worried. They know that the Airport will seek to win by a process of 'creeping expansion.' They are right now attempting to give the entire area of open water and wetlands west of Lydd, full European Level Special Protection level status. It is a race against time.

We are trying to find a friendly pilot to overfly the entire area and take colour photographs. This will give us the real picture of what is going on at the Airport in terms of what they have just spent £20m on and the true extent of the threatened natural habitats. The RSPB and English Nature would be grateful for such data too.

After your fabulous coverage on 'Inside Out,' of that wonderful and very important conservation project (On the Marsh) - which was so enjoyable and uplifting to see - you can imagine how we feel about the threat to the '5th' continent of Walland, Romney and Denge Marshes posed by the Airport.

We need coverage of what is down here and what will be lost. It is a fact that any account simply does not need to be in any way biased against London-Ashford Airport - or any other destructive operation for that matter - to succeed in saying to the world that here is something wonderful, something for nature and people, something the future will treasure, and we are deciding it's fate.

Look after yourself,

Malcolm Dyer, Chair, KEEP THE MARSH SPECIAL ALLIANCE, (Shepway Lib-Dems, Shepway Green Party, Shepway FOE, Lydd Airport-No Expansion).

Lydd Airport - No Expansion	
 	  Malcom Dyer	
 	  Plantagenet House	
 	  West Street 	
 	  New Romney	
  Email	MDyer004 at 	
  Phone	01797 461772

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