The biggest airport in the world could be built on the on the Hoo Peninsula, according to reports. Plans for the four-runway airport, which could handle 150 million passengers a year, have been drawn up by leading architect Lord Foster.
The airport, which could cope with more than twice the amount of passengers who fly from Heathrow every year, has reportedly been described as “exciting” by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who has been backing a different scheme for a Thames Estuary airport. He intends to raise the plan with the Chancellor, George Osborne.
The project, which could cost up to £50 billion, could be powered by the tidal energy of the North Sea said a report in the Sunday Times yesterday. Supporters of the scheme think it could become the leading transport hub by 2030, linking the South East’s railways, roads and ports with air traffic.
It would be built on the Isle of Grain with aircraft landing and taking off over the water, enabling flights to operate 24 hours a day, affecting fewer people than the 245,000 who suffer noise from Heathrow. But the plans will provoke anger with environmentalists, council leaders and people living on the Hoo Peninsula, which is rich in wildlife. The area is rich with birds and other wildlife, and is home to nature reserves run by the RSPB.
Cllr Chris Buckwell, chairman of Grain Parish Council, said:
“These ideas show geographical ignorance. The area is the Hoo Peninsula, not just the Isle of Grain – it’s not a good start. My reaction is the same as it was for the Cliffe Airport plans, we would resist it and the government has made it clear it has no plans for an airport here.”
“Our argument against any airport plans still stands, this is an even bigger pie in the sky idea. Not everyone who flies into Heathrow comes to the South East, people go up North too, Birmingham’s airport runs at 30 per cent capacity, perhaps a hub airport in the north would be better.”
Mark Reckless, MP for Rochester and Strood, said:
“If it was a serious proposal I’d expect it to be more broadly covered in the media, it’s always the Sunday Times. It’s ridiculous, they’ve not got a clear proposal.”
kentonline 1st Aug 2011