The idea of building a new £50 billion London airport in the Thames Estuary has been slammed as “daft” by a local council leader.
Architect Lord Foster’s plans to build the world’s biggest airport on the Isle of Grain were immediately condemned by Medway Council, which has long campaigned against London Mayor Boris Johnson’s vision to build a facility to replace Heathrow in the region.
Council leader Rodney Chambers said: “Lord Foster’s plan to build an airport on the Isle of Grain is, quite possibly, the daftest in a long list of pie in the sky schemes that have been put forward.
“The Isle of Grain is home to the largest liquefied natural gas terminal in Europe and around a fifth of the UK’s gas supply is offloaded by container ships and stored there. It is plainly obvious that aircraft and huge gas containers are a potentially lethal mix.
“I can only assume that neither Lord Foster nor Boris Johnson, who is said to be thrilled by this plan, have actually left their offices and travelled from London to the Isle of Grain to have a look.
“A huge new airport on or near the Thames Estuary, which would cost up to £70 billion, is both unaffordable and unnecessary and the government and many airline industry giants have already said they do not support such a plan.”
He added: “Boris has no power to build an airport anywhere, least of all in Kent, and we should look to using up capacity at existing airports.
“For instance, Manston in Kent already has one of the longest runways in Europe and is close to the high speed rail link to London while Birmingham is near the proposed site for a second high speed train and has already stated it wants to double capacity.”
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