Government to give proposals serious consideration

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Despite all the denials and claims to the contrary, the Government is set to confirm today it will seriously consider plans to build a multi-runway airport hub off the Kent coast in the Thames Estuary.

Conservative Party deputy chairman Michael Fallon this morning said the Government will confirm during the Chancellor’s autumn statement this afternoon it is to look at the proposals. The two key plans are Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s proposal to build on reclaimed land - dubbed Boris Island - and the recent proposals by architect Lord Foster to build on the Isle of Grain.

Both have been strongly opposed by Kent County Council, Medway Council and the likes of the RSPB.

Speaking to BBC Radio Kent this morning, Mr Fallon said: “That’s most likely to be announced today; that the Government is now looking seriously at these proposals. It makes sense when people come up with new proposals to look at them.

“With no new runway at Heathrow and restrictions in place at Gatwick, and airlines don’t want to go to Stansted, when new proposal like this comes forward then the Government will want to look at it - but that does not mean it will be going ahead.”

On the same programme, Kent County Council chief Paul Carter urged the Government to look at other options - including shifting the plans so they sat next to the Essex coast.

However, he said he could see “there is a very good business case we don’t bleed away aviation business to Holland” by building a new airport close to London.

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