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Mass lobby over airport threat

CAMPAIGN: MP Bob Marshall-Andrews
CAMPAIGN: MP Bob Marshall-Andrews

HUNDREDS of people from all over Britain this week demanded their MPs should tell Transport Secretary Alistair Darling to scrap proposals for Cliffe Airport.

In a mass lobby of parliament, they urged the politicians to back a call from Medway MP, Bob Marshall-Andrews, to save the Hoo Peninsula from becoming runways, motorways, and haulage terminals.

They were organised by the RSPB in what the conservation organisation's chief executive, Graham Wynne, described as a climactic swansong to the campaign to save the area from redevelopment.

Mr Wynne told campaigners: "The Hoo peninsula will be effectively destroyed if this is allowed to happen. There is no place for complacency."

Many local people have said the airport plan would never go ahead. Alan Jarrett, deputy leader of Medway Council and chairman of Kent Wildfowlers, said: "I am not convinced that this is a dead duck."

Mr Darling is expected to decide before Christmas whether to back the controversial option of building the world's biggest airport on the Cliffe marshes.

It is one of a series of options that his staff have proposed to tackle competition from European airports determined to wrest the crown from Heathrow.

Among those in the delegation were No Airport at Cliffe campaigners from the village itself, from Cooling, Allhallows, and Gillingham as well as Medway Council's deputy leader and wildfowler, Alan Jarrett.

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