THE champagne celebrations at Lydd Airport on April 10 were no surprise. But let not Executive Manager Hani Mutlaq have the effrontery to claim as he does (Rye Observer April 19) that this is the ‘right choice’ for ‘our’ community. The community he speaks for is of course himself and his employer, his management team, a relatively small number of airport employees and the minority of local residents who support the expansion. As journalist Jamie Doward reported in the (national) Observer of 26 February 2012, ‘If Pickles approves the airport’s expansion he will be going against the government’s adviser, Natural England, Shepway’s planning officers, the majority of Lydd’s residents, the scientific consensus on the need to reduce carbon emissions, the prime minister’s perceived green credentials and the coalition’s belief in empowering communities as enshrined in its much-vaunted localism act’. The majority of the community of Romney Marsh, including Rye and the surrounding area, with the support of every environmental organisation, have valiantly fought the expansion. Not exactly, then, the ‘democracy’ that Britain is so proud of. For them, and for all who cherish the beauty and tranquillity of Romney Marsh, it is very patently the wrong choice. It is also a choice for which present and future generations will never forgive the airport’s foreign owner, Shepway councillors and David Cameron’s government who are colluding in one of the worst acts of environmental desecration in the history of our British Isles.
The Close, Fairlight