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Friday, 30 August, 2002, 18:53 GMT 19:53 UK
Groups unite to fight airport
Residents protest against Cliffe Airport
4,000 residents turned up to the last protest meeting
Thousands of villagers and bird lovers fighting plans for a new airport on wetlands in Kent took part in a mass protest on Friday.

Campaigners say government proposals for an airport at Cliffe will endanger more than 155,000 wintering birds.

The protest also included villagers whose homes could be bought up to make way for the airport on the Hoo Peninsula.

RSPB chief executive Graham Wynne said he was hosting the rally - which started at 1600 BST at the Northward Hill RSPB Reserve in north Kent - to bring together the local communities and the RSPB in their fight against the airport.

Redshank photo by Chris Gomersall (RSPB-Images.com)
The area is popular with birdwatchers

The RSPB estimated that well over 3,000 people turned out in support of the No Airport at Cliffe event.

The government is considering several options, which also include new runways at existing airports, to cater for the projected doubling of air traffic over the next 20 years.

An estimated 4,000 people turned up at a previous meeting in Kent on 13 August.

A Department for Transport spokesman said plans for new airports were an important issue for the whole country.

And it was important that people went to exhibitions at key sites which are running throughout September.

The consultation process runs until 30 November.


Click here to go to Kent
See also:

30 Aug 02 | England
16 Aug 02 | England
14 Aug 02 | England
23 Jul 02 | UK
22 Jul 02 | England
01 Mar 02 | England
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