Plans for a Thames Estuary airport by London mayor and Conservative MP, Boris Johnson, are to be challenged by Medway councillors.

Ongoing proposals which include building a floating airport near the Isle of Sheppey produced a cross-party agreement at a Medway Council (council) meeting on Thursday 13th November.

The 24 hour airport, which would be built on an artificial island home to four runways with a possible expansion to six airstrips, would signal the end of the Tory government’s need for a third runway at Heathrow.

But rival party members are intent on defending Kent from potential noise and visual pollution through development of the dubbed, "Boris Island".

MPs had campaigned successfully to end the Cliffe Airport proposals in the Hoo Peninsula in 2005, which potentially could have destroyed bird habitats.

Although with successive transport projects including the Eurostar high-speed Ebbsfleet International rail link near Gravesend completed this year, locals fear the county will succumb to further disruption.

And despite the mayor’s green travel ideas, former conservative councillor for Medway, John Ward, who stepped down from his post in March 2008, believes there are better alternatives to the Thames Estuary plan.

Mr Ward said: “I was very pleased by the united response to my question from the council.

“Another alternative is a rapid rail link – from London to Birmingham in 40 minutes – that’s less time than it takes to get from London to Chatham.”

However MPs are unlikely to see the mayor alter his plans, after it was confirmed that engineer, Douglas Oakervee, who developed the successful offshore Hong Kong airport, will conduct a feasibility study in to the proposed estuary airport.

Although, the deadline for Mr Oakervee and Mr Johnson’s conclusions on whether the airport's completion, which could cost up to £40bn according to The Independent, is yet to be confirmed.

If built, the Sheppey airport would accompany Manston as Kent’s second international airport.

Sittingbourne and Sheppey MP, Derek Wyatt (Lab), said the mayor should look at better solutions.

Mr Wyatt told the Kent Messenger: "It is political posturing to get the Conservatives off the hook while they oppose expansion at Heathrow.

"The only solution is the expansion of Stansted, Heathrow and Gatwick. The Heathrow expansion would cost £13billion; Boris' plan would cost an estimated £50 million."

The Isle of Sheppey is famous for the shipwreck of the munitions ship, SS Richard Montgomery which carried 1,500 tons of explosives during the Second World War.

But despite governments plans to build the airport near the wreckage of the cargo ship, which grounded at the Nore sandbank near Sheerness in 1944, the initial fears of explosive threats have been mooted following governmental investigations in 2006.

Comments

Is this okay, or should it be better? I need your opinions please...even if you do think it is a pile of shite haha :).

Environment threat posed by Sheppey airport