Craven council approves expansion of Lydd Airport


Imagine you're a councillor in on the south coast of England. A tiny airport, best known for hosting raves during the acid house days of the early 1990s, comes to you for permission to expand. The airport is nestled between Dungeness nuclear power station and the oldest RSPB bird sanctuary in the country. You'd say no, right?

Not if you're a councillor from the rotten borough of Shepway. Last night this ragtag bunch of incompetents decided to approve expansion, overlooking the concerns of the nuclear power plant about the potential risk of a plane hitting a reactor, local people worried about the noise of planes overhead, the impact on the bird population and even the recomendation of their planning officers that the expansion plan be rejected.

As usual, the airport owners have been over-hyping the benefits of expansion. They renamed the airport London Ashford Airport, despite it being nowhere near London or Ashford. I'm not sure in what warped version of reality they envisage passengers landing at Lydd and not being pissed off when they find out that London is still half a world away.

Earth to Shepway Council: you are in the middle of nowhere. No one will voluntarily fly to you. The only attractions in your area are Pontins and the RSPB reserve at Dungeness... which you've just ruined by encouraging thousands of planes overhead. Well done chaps. Trebles all round!

Lydd gets stay of execution



Nothing epitomises the madness of the airport expansion bubble better than Lydd airport, a strip of tarmac on the Kent coast, with plans to increase passengers from 5,000 per year to 500,000.

Lydd's future was to have been decided on the 30th of January, but the chief executive of Shepway District Council Alistair Stewart has postponed the decision so the council can examine more information on ecological and noise issues. The decision meeting will now take place in two to six months time, and the demonstration called by local campaigners has also been postponed.

If Lydd airport were a Carlsberg advert...


Lydd airport would probably be the most useless airport in the world. When it's not masquerading as a mid-90s rave venue, Lydd serves 5,000 passengers a year - but wants to expand to 500,000.

There's just two obstacles in the way of the airport's meglomania - Dungeness nuclear power station and Dungeness RSPB sactuary - both of which are objecting to any increase in air passengers. The RSPB reserve is concerned about the bird population being disturbed by low-flying aircraft; the power station about the Kent population getting covered in toxic waste should a pilot veer off course.

Lydd airport - saved by nukes?


Simpsons Nuclear Plant

Nuclear may be a thorny issue for environmentalists right now - what with the Government using nukes as a techno-fix solution to climate change - but opponents of one little airport in the South-East have found themselves in an unlikely partnership with their local nuke station.

Lydd airport is trying to expand from 5,000 passengers a year to 500,000 passengers, making it the poster boy for delusions of grandeur. It's even renamed itself London-Ashford airport, despite being nowhere near either. Unfortunately for the airport's owner, Dungeness nuclear power station is right next door.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?


Hundreds of homes will be destroyed, noise levels will increase and the oldest community in the UK could be wiped out if plans to expand Lydd airport get the go-ahead. Sound familiar? Well this time, it's not just people who'll be affected - it's birds!

Over 60 species have been sighted at Dungeness nature reserve, the oldest RSPB reserve in the country, which is under threat from the airport owner's plans to increase commercial capacity from 5,000 to half a million passengers per year.