Council pleased as "Boris Island" airport proposal binned

Council pleased as "Boris Island" airport proposal binned

Council pleased as "Boris Island" airport proposal binned

Boris Johnson

First published in South Essex news Braintree and Witham Times: Matt Abbott by , Chief Reporter

JOHN Kent, the leader of Thurrock Council, has welcomed the Airport Commission's decision to rule out Mayor of London Boris Johnson's Thames Estuary airport hub plan.

The commission chairman, Sir Howard Davies said the proposal to build a four-runway airport hub in the Isle of Grain was unviable due to the huge cost, economic disruption and environmental concerns.

And Mr Kent is pleased that common sense has prevailed after the council made a submission to the commission opposing the idea.

He said: "Sometimes it seems a rare thing for common sense to prevail, but to be honest I don’t think the commission could have done much else.

"It was nick-named Boris Island for a reason. There was only one person who thought it was a good idea – Boris himself, and sometimes I wonder about even that.

"Locally, here in Thurrock, a four-runway airport a few miles downriver would have been horrific. Noise, pollution and road congestion like we’ve never imagined would have been the day-to-day reality."

He added: "Thurrock Council made a submission to the commission, I doubt that alone we had a major effect, but I am equally sure our opinions were in a massive majority and together we had an impact.

"Sometimes talking common sense actually gets a common sense result."

But Mr Johnson is refusing to let the idea die and believes the plan makes more sense than expanding Heathrow and Gatwick.

He said: "In one myopic stroke, the Airports Commission has set the debate back by half a century and consigned their work to the long list of vertically filed reports on aviation expansion that are gathering dust on a shelf in Whitehall.

"Gatwick is not a long-term solution and [Sir] Howard Davies must explain to the people of London how he can possibly envisage that an expansion of Heathrow, which would create unbelievable levels of noise, blight and pollution, is a better idea than a new airport to the east of London that he himself admits is visionary, and which would create the jobs and growth this country needs to remain competitive."


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