The operators of Lydd, otherwise known as London Ashford airport, have announced plans to increase passenger numbers from fewer than 5,000 a year at present to two million with the construction of a new terminal and extended runway.
The RSPB has joined with the local community in calling for a public inquiry into the planning application, highlighting the fact that the airport is next to the 1,000 hectare Dungeness nature reserve, home to at least sixty different bird species. More than 3,000 local people have already signed a petition against the proposed expansion.
Chris Corrigan, RSPB Director for South East England, described the scheme as ‘ludicrous’, and added:
“Planners should be following the example of those at Stansted, where the council has rejected plans to increase passenger numbers. Air travel is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions and airport expansion at Lydd, a site so obviously unsuitable, should not be allowed.”
This article first appeared in the Ecologist February 2007