15 February 2011 – Keith Taylor, Green MEP for Kent and the South East has given his support to protesters campaigning against a proposed expansion of Lydd Airport in Ashford, Kent. On the day that a public inquiry begins into the expansion, he vowed to write to the Secretary of State to voice his objections.
Nearly 14,000 people wrote to the Government Office for the South East to request the expansion plans were called-in for a public inquiry.
Keith said: “The large number of people that requested a public inquiry into the expansion of Lydd airport shows that there are huge concerns about the impact these proposals would have in terms of the increase in pollution for local residents and the threat to important wildlife.
“Dungeness peninsula is one of the most important and sensitive wildlife habitats in the UK. The airport’s expansion will have an impact outside the immediate locality, damaging internationally protected wildlife sites.
“From what I can see, the decision of Shepway councillors to dismiss their own officers’ recommendations to reject the proposal was not based on any sound reasoning. Like many others, I welcome the public inquiry to examine that decision-making process.
“Expansion of services would increase noise and air pollution and raise greenhouse gas emissions in the area. Such developments would set a dangerous precedent for the rest of the region, and indeed the rest of the UK. I will be writing to the Secretary of State to voice my objections to this ill-founded proposal.”
The inquiry starts today at Shepway Civic Centre in Folkestone and is expected to run for 13 weeks.