Public inquiry to review expansion at Lydd Airport

Hotel News - 28/06/2010

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A much-anticipated £25-million expansion programme at Kent’s Lydd Airport risks being delayed after the Government Office for the South East insisted a public inquiry in the plans must be held. An airport spokesman was disappointed by the announcement and said it would lead to delays to vital investment in jobs and facilities.

The airport’s expansion plans were given the green light by Shepway Council back in March. Councillors had approved the extension of a runway and the construction of a new terminal building. Those plans look set to be delayed while the public inquiry is carried out.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Protect Kent, however, both praised the move by the government. The RSPB said the Dungeness Peninsula is an important and sensitive natural habitat. Sean Furey of Protect Kent said Romney Marsh is both beautiful and a vital wilderness area. Both bodies hoped all environmental issues would be given due consideration in the inquiry.

Furey said that Protect Kent supports the economic benefits of tourism but expanding the airport would be a mistake. Meanwhile, Lydd Airport spokeswoman Jo Oliver said she was confident the airport would be able to get final approval to continue with its ambitious expansion plans.

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