JOHN Kent, the Leader of Thurrock Council, has reacted angrily to the news that plans for an airport in the Thames estuary are being taken seriously by the government.
“There are so many things wrong with this so-called Boris island idea it’s hard to believe the government want to spend public money talking about it — I suppose it could kill the proposal once and forever.”
Cllr Kent added: “The consultation is planned to start in March and that gives us time to get our opposition properly co-ordinated and I will be speaking to all members of the council, irrespective of party allegiance, to get them on board.
“Any claim that any flight path will be ‘over water’ beggars belief. To the east that may be so, but everyone knows aircraft take off and land from opposite directions.
“Everyone living here knows the skies above Thurrock are already busy enough with planes over-flying, with plans landing at City Airport and with those heading for Heathrow.
“And everyone knows that passenger aircraft coming in to land tend to do so in a straight line — nature and the Thames don’t do straight lines!”
He added: “When the Leader of Kent County Council laughably suggested putting a new airport in Thurrock, I made my position clear. There are current British airports crying out for increased capacity — that’s what’s needed, not a mad plan for planes to land and take off from the middle of a busy river.
“It’s also worth noting that with the development of DP World’s London Gateway, some of the largest ships in the world will be sailing down the estuary to Thurrock. London Gateway is the key to London, the South East and the Eastern region’s future prosperity not a new airport.
“Thurrock is also looking to build thousands of new homes to help take the pressure off London, but who will want to come to live here if we’re under the flight path of Boris Island.
“How many years will there be before the idea is finally killed? How many years will this proposal blight the whole of the Thames Gateway, from the City to Southend and Chatham?”