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No Airport At Cliffe - News Update

TV, March, Registering concern, No Case For A New Airport At Cliffe speech etc…

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Countryfile, to be broadcast at 11am on BBC1 this coming Sunday the 24th/11th includes a feature highlighting NA@C campaign issues - it`s presented by John Craven, who kindly visited the peninsula and RSPB reserves there, earlier this week.>March
Please note that due to so much wet weather the NA@C march location changed from Bromhey Farm to Rochester - Meet at the Castle Grounds, Rochester at 10.00 am for a march through Rochester starting at 11am. I look forward to marching and speaking there this coming Saturday - hope to see you THERE.Registering Concern
Please do write to the Department of Transport and your MP, register your concerns now, before the consultation period closes on 30th/11th, information is available to assist, on the dedicated NA@C pages of the RSPB website at: http://www.rspb.org.uk - if you`ve already written - THANK YOU!Aviation Report Is Comedy Of Errors At Which No-One Is Laughing
The RSPB has slammed yesterday`s report by SASIG (Strategic Aviation Special Interest Group) as worthless. The SASIG claim that an airport at Cliffe is the visionary solution is strewn with errors and omissions, and is not the official voice of local government as it has been portrayed.Chris Corrigan, RSPB Regional Director, said: There is so much wrong with the SASIG document, it is difficult to know where to start. It is all the more worrying given that SASIG are not the true voice of Local Government. They are but a small part of the Local Government Association, which won`t decide its position until 12th December.The following are just examples of how wayward their thinking is:
With regard to the wildlife implications of an airport at Cliffe, the SASIG report glaringly omits the key designation, the Special Protection Areas (SPAs), and clearly does not understand how this legislation protects the area.

On the economic front, SASIG claim that an airport at Cliffe `could result in London having twin hubs, with Heathrow`s two runways continuing to provide the home base for one of the airline alliances and Cliffe providing for the other`. RSPB research clearly shows that a dual hub is an unworkable option in the UK. Were another hub to be constructed, it is likely that airlines would either remain at Heathrow, especially if expanded, or possibly move to another the new hub, but not both. SASIG claim that a relatively small number of properties would be affected and that this must be one of the very few locations in the South East where adequate land is available with relatively low impact on people. This is clearly myth when the 1,100 properties that would have to be taken in the Cliffe option is considerably higher than any of the other options. Chris continues, SASIG own mission statement is to seek a national aviation strategy for the UK that reconciles economic, social and environmental issues in a sustainable way. In recommending the Cliffe option, they seem to be failing that in every way.No Case For A New Airport At Cliffe - Rspb Argues For Demand Management, Plus Better Use Of Existing Capacity.
Speaking at a conference that is being held to highlight major aviation issues, RSPB Director of Conservation, Dr Mark Avery, will demolish the case for a new airport at Cliffe. Any thoughts of building a new airport at Cliffe should be consigned to the realms of fantasy, says Dr Avery. Although the RSPB readily acknowledges the increasing demand for air travel within the UK, Cliffe is among Europe`s most important sites for wildlife and is protected by international and national law. Over 1,000 residential properties would have to be destroyed to build the airport. There is no evidence that the airline industry supports the Cliffe option and the private finance needed for construction would not be forthcoming.The effects of building at Cliffe would make it one of the most ecologically destructive developments known in the UK and the Government would have to pass the very strict legal tests designed to protect the internationally important wildlife sites in situ. The replacement of almost an entire estuarine Special Protection Area and Ramsar site has never been attempted in the UK: even small-scale replacements have proven difficult to achieve. The RSPB has extensive experience in creating and managing new habitats, but in this instance cannot see how it will be possible to replace the complex ecosystem that would be lost if an airport was built at Cliffe. If the Government were to choose to build an airport there they would face a protracted legal battle, which could last for years. The RSPB believes that any sustainable air transport policy must combine demand management through fiscal measures and by promoting alternatives for short-haul travel and improving capacity at existing airports. Even SASIG agrees that Government should constrain the growth in demand for air travel. Dr Avery points out. One way is to keep prices constant, which could halve growth in demand. This and making best use of existing infrastructure is the intelligent way forward, not the off-the-wall proposals to destroy yet more of southeast`s precious environment.

4th July 2014