Thames Estuary airport plot to be examined

by Jessica MCILHINNEY on January 19, 2012

The government will hold a consultation on UK aviation, which will include controversial plans to construct a new airport on the Thames Estuary.

Starting in March, the study will look at the options for maintaining Britain’s status as an aviation hub. Downing Street revealed that no decision has been made as of yet with London Mayor Boris Johnson among the most vocal supporters.

Prime Minister David Cameron has thus far ruled out the expansion of London Heathrow but Nick Clegg, his deputy, has expressed opposition to the estuary idea. Over its aviation policy, Labour blasted the Coalition and suggested that it is in a complete mess.

The airport will be built partly on land that has been reclaimed and could end up being on either a peninsula or an island. Already, concerns have been raised on the possible damage that might be caused to the environment as campaigners have said that the site, renowned for scores of wintering birds, remains a vital breeding ground for both avocets and marsh harriers during summer, which is why it must be protected.

When he made his Autumn Statement, George Osborne didn’t rule out the construction of a new hub, which was seen by most as being a signal that the Coalition has started warming to the scheme. Sources allege that David Cameron has been supportive of Boris Johnson’s alternative to having to expand Heathrow but will see what kind of outcome the consultation will bring.

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