Deputy London mayor Victoria Borwick to visit Medway for estuary airport talks
Exclusive by Alan McGuinness
The deputy Mayor of London will visit Medway to see for
herself the far-reaching effects of a Thames Estuary
Victoria Borwick will travel from the capital at the end of
November for talks with Medway Council leader Cllr Rodney
Regeneration chief Robin Cooper said the discussions would be
"very robust" and added she would be invited to go to the Hoo
Peninsula to see what would be lost if an airport is ever built
He said: "I'm not sure if she has been down to Medway before so
we'll certainly invite her to go out and see where these proposed
sites are – they're all in Medway or very close to Medway.
"We'll take every opportunity to make her fully aware of the
communities it would affect - we're talking about 40,000 people
living here in Medway and Kent who would be seriously affected by
an international airport.
"We've also got businesses who would be affected, the gas
terminal there, we've got a container port, we've got the sunken
warship, the SS Richard Montgomery, and big questions around
what you would do with those."
Medway Council, the Towns' three Conservative MPs and the RSPB
are all against an airport in the area.
They argue it would cost too much money, cause untold
environmental damage and that using existing airport capacity
elsewhere in the country is a better option.
Supporters claim the project would bring jobs and investment to
Architects Gensler last
week released this image of plans for an estuary airport
Sites that have been suggested so far include Cliffe, Grain and
two man-made islands in the estuary – an idea championed by
Boris Johnson and dubbed Boris Island.
Last week Gensler, an international firm of architects, unveiled
a proposal for a four-runway airport off the coast of the Isle of
Sheppey that would be tethered to the sea bed.
The government has set up a commission to decide what would be
the best option, with its final report due out in 2015.
The transport select committee and the London Mayor Boris
Johnson have also set up commissions to examine the issue.
Mr Cooper said the council had written to all three commissions,
asking for the chance to make the case against a Thames Estuary
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