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This is what the decision about Heathrow's 3rd runway could mean for Kent

Plans for a third runway at Heathrow are in tatters after the Court of Appeal ruled the proposals were unlawful.

Campaigners are celebrating after the controversial plans for the third runway were rejected on environmental grounds, but does this mean the Prime Minister could bring back 'Boris Island' - the controversial floating airport off the Hoo Peninsula?

KMTV report on the future of air travel in Kent

Three Lord Justices ruled the government did not take into account its commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change when it set out the third runway proposals in its National Policy Statement (NPS).

Lords Justice Lindblom, Singh and Haddon-Cave made the ruling in front of a packed courtroom and the decision should now mark an end of any plans for new runways in the UK.

In Kent, it should mean the so-called 'Boris Island' off the coast of the Isle of Grain, will never be brought back to life.

In June last year, Kelly Tolhurst, MP for Rochester and Strood got Boris Johnson to commit to ensuring his plan for the airport in the Thames Estuary near Grain would never be brought back to the table. But Mr Johnson has been known to change his mind before, most notably about EU membership.

Miss Tolhurst took him to task about the idea just before he became Prime Minister. He had earmarked the Hoo Peninsula as a prospective location for the venture during his time as London Mayor.

Kelly Tolhurst MP, Member of Parliament for Rochester and Strood. Picture: Tony Jones
Kelly Tolhurst MP, Member of Parliament for Rochester and Strood. Picture: Tony Jones

An airport off the Kent coast had been mooted for years with other possible sites off the coast of Sheppey and when the third runway plans were proposed at Heathrow, it was announced it could be built in Sheerness.

Representatives from the airport had visited Peel Ports, one of the sites which was in the running to help deliver any new runway.

Earlier today, Lord Justice Lindblom said: "The Paris Agreement ought to have been taken into account by the Secretary of State in the preparation of the NPS and an explanation given as to how it was taken into account, but it was not."

The news has been welcomed by campaigners including those from the Aviation Environment Federation (AEF).

Deputy director Cait Hewitt said: “This is a huge win for the climate, and leaves Heathrow’s third runway plans in tatters.

What 'Boris Island' could have looked like if it was built in Thames Estuary. Picture: Foster and Partners
What 'Boris Island' could have looked like if it was built in Thames Estuary. Picture: Foster and Partners

"In presenting plans for a third runway to MPs, the government failed, the court has found, to assess whether this was compatible with the Paris Agreement.

Protestors say the project would have increased emissions at the airport and the UK has since legislated to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Ms Hewitt added: "So it’s very hard to see how the government could now ever demonstrate that a third runway could be reconciled with the necessary scale of climate action.

"This ruling should mark the end of plans for any new runways in the UK.

"The government should stand up to the airports lobby, drop its support for airport expansion, and invest instead in low-carbon transport and supporting British tourism."

The ruling comes just weeks after Bristol Council and Uttlesford Council rejected plans for expansion of Bristol and Stansted airports on the basis of their environmental impacts, including climate change.

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