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Rochester Airport planning application submitted in 'next couple of weeks'

A planning application to upgrade Rochester Airport will be submitted in the “next couple of weeks”, according to its manager.

Some of the new aspects – including a new control tower – require planning permission from Medway Council, which owns the land but has leased it to Rochester Airport Limited until 2039.

In June, government funding body the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) agreed to provide £4.4 million of public money for a scaled-back plan, which will no longer include the controversial hard-paved runway.

Rochester Airport. Picture: Andy Jones
Rochester Airport. Picture: Andy Jones

Asked whether there were any updates about the planning application this morning, airport manager Kelvin Carr responded: “It will be with the council within the next couple of weeks.”

The revised business case for SELEP was deferred in April, but papers for that meeting suggested an application would be submitted and determined “by September”.

This is now highly unlikely as it will have to go through the usual planning process and consultation.

Rochester Airport would be left with just one grass runway, but the proposal is said to help create 37 jobs and safeguard a further 25.

An aerial shot of Rochester Airport
An aerial shot of Rochester Airport

Crucially, it will also provide land for Medway Council’s Innovation Park Medway project.

A plan to construct a hard-paved runway was the most controversial aspect of the original plan, and was met with criticism from Natural England, Highways England and local residents.

Rochester Airport Limited, in partnership with Medway Council, believe the amendments will satisfy the complaints.

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