Legal challenges launched at Lydd

TWO groups are to take on the Government challenging the legality of its decision to approve Lydd Airport’s expansion plans.

The plans were given the go-ahead earlier this year following a lengthy Government inquiry.

Supporters of the airport say it will create new jobs and being much needed generation to the Romney Marsh area, while opponents claim it will upset the delicate balance of wildlife and create a potential nuclear hazard due to the proximity of the runway to Dungeness Power Station.

The RSPB launched its legal challenge on Tuesday.

Chris Corrigan, RSPB South East Regional Director, said: “Dungeness is one of the most important wildlife sites in the world; it is protected at global, European and UK levels. It is home to species found hardly anywhere else in the UK. It is also a crossroads for migrating birds stopping off on their epic global journeys.

“The RSPB has been protecting birds and the wildlife of Dungeness for over a century - our commitment to the area is deep and profound.

“After careful consideration we have now issued a legal challenge to the Secretary of State’s decision. The stakes are too high to risk the future of one of our best and most important places for nature without testing the basis for this decision which we consider to be flawed.”

Lydd Airport Action Group also launched a challenge.

The application is brought under Section 288 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to quash the decisions of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and the Secretary of State for Transport.