Page last updated at 09:27 GMT, Thursday, 10 September 2009 10:27 UK

Airport expansion talks delayed

London Ashford Airport
Airport planners want a longer runway and a new terminal building

A planning hearing to decide the future of Lydd Airport, in Kent, has been postponed for a fourth time.

The hearing at which Shepway Council will decide whether it can extend its runway and build a new terminal was due to have been held later this month.

The airport's new managing director, Jonathan Gordon, who requested the delay, has now promised the hearing will take place early next year.

He said it would be held at the end of February or early March.

Environmental criticisms

"As soon as that date is set, that is the date which will become cast in stone," Mr Gordon said.

"We won't be looking for any further deferrals, and we look forward to a proper and fair determination on that date."

Lynne Beaumont, leader of the Liberal Democrats in Shepway, and a member of the Keep the Marsh Special Alliance, said she believed the delay until next year was to buy more time to answer environmental criticisms.

"There's one directive that they have to prove, which is called a habitats regulation, and they have to prove that making an airport bigger, flying in more larger jets, is not going to do any damage whatsoever.

"I don't care whether you've got six months or six years, I don't think it's ever going to be possible that they can do that."



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SEE ALSO
Airport expansion report attacked
06 Jul 09 |  Kent
Date set to discuss airport plans
03 Jul 09 |  Kent
Airport inquiry set for next year
20 Oct 08 |  Kent
Airport expansion debate put off
14 Jan 08 |  Kent

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