Page last updated at 15:16 GMT, Friday, 9 April 2010 16:16 UK

General election delays Lydd Airport expansion decision

Lydd Airport aerial view
Lydd Airport's 25m development plans could be "called in"

Plans to extend the runway and build a new terminal at Lydd Airport in Kent have been delayed due to the election.

The Government Office for the South East (GOSE) is reviewing the plans and is to decide whether the Secretary of State should make the final decision.

The deadline has moved from 22 April to 11 June - after the election on 6 May.

Natural England had raised concerns the plans did not properly consider the environmental impact. The airport said the delay was "regrettable".

It asked for the plans to be "called in" after raising concerns that the development could affect areas including Dungeness, Romney Marsh and the Rye Bay site of special scientific interest.

The prospect of waiting until the summer for a decision is very exasperating
Jonathan Gordon, Lydd Airport managing director

Area manager for Natural England Rob Cameron said: "We believe the applicant has been unable to demonstrate that the sites of national and international importance for nature conservation would not be adversely affected by the proposed developments."

Lydd Airport's managing director, Jonathan Gordon, said: "It's regrettable that our multi-million pound investment plans, which will help boost the economic fortunes of Romney Marsh and create 500 jobs, are on hold again.

"We have already spent more than four years and nearly £2m in painstakingly preparing our applications, so the prospect of waiting until the summer for a decision is very exasperating."

Shepway councillors initially voted 27 to 12 in favour of the plans in March, but the plans will now be delayed until 11 June.

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