Bid to stop Lydd airport plans at High Court


LYDD Airport Action Group goes to the High Court this month to appeal against the decision to allow an airport expansion.

The group claims the airport’s plans would damage a sensitive area of Romney Marsh and increase the danger of a major incident due to larger aircraft flying in close proximity to the nuclear power station at Dungeness.

But airport bosses claim the plans to extend the runway and build a new terminal to support 500,000 passengers per annum will help regenerate the area and create hundreds of new jobs.

They have said they want to use local construction firms and labour wherever possible.

The appeal will be heard on Thursday January 23 and Friday January 24.

The RSPB is also appealing separately and their hearing will be on the previous two days.

The Hearing will be at the Royal Courts of Justice in London and is open to the public.

The decision to approve the development was made on April 10 last year by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and the Secretary of State for Transport.

Lydd Airport Action Group (LAAG) was formed in 2004 to oppose the large scale development of Lydd airport and has 3,000 members.

The group’s spokesperson Louise Barton said: “LAAG’s case at the inquiry centred heavily on the nuclear safety issue.

“Our evidence shows that the probability of an aircraft accident at the Dungeness Nuclear complex resulting from airport expansion would be unacceptably high and that the nuclear regulator’s decision not to oppose Lydd Airport’s development was flawed.

“A formal complaint to the European Commission over the nuclear safety aspects of this planning application has resulted in the European Commission investigating the UK Government under the EU Pilot Mechanism for possible infringements of the Nuclear Safety Directive. The investigation is on-going.”