In an open letter to the Sunday Times Mark states;
Your article on 24 October referring to “new plans for a £14 billion replacement airport alongside the Thames estuary” has caused unnecessary upset to the twenty thousand or so of my constituents who live on what you describe as “the largely uninhabited Hoo peninsula”.
Rather than being “new” or “the brainchild of John Olsen” as suggested, the plan for an airport on the Hoo Peninsula is, as you recognise elsewhere in your article, essentially the same as the Labour government’s 2002-3 Cliffe Airport proposal. You noted that “the site was rejected because of the high risk of bird strike” but that was only one of many reasons.
In rejecting the proposal the previous government cited a lack of support from airlines and concerns that high up-front construction costs could make it financially unviable. Its white paper concluded that “the net benefits of Cliffe were lower than for any of the combinations of additional capacity at existing airports”.
The Prime Minister and the Coalition Government have repeatedly ruled out the building of a new airport in or around the Thames Estuary. Even the Mayor of London, who in any event has neither the power nor the money to build such an airport, has said he is no longer pushing the idea. It will not happen.
Mark Reckless MP