The Secretaries of State for Transport and Communities and Local Government have approved applications for the extension of the runway and a new terminal building at London Ashford Airport, near Lydd in Kent. The applications were called in for a public inquiry after Shepway District Council resolved to grant permission.
The airport lies in close proximity to the RSPB’s bird reserve at Dungeness, and a central issue in the case was the potential impact of the expansion on the Dungeness to Pett Level SPA. Accepting the Inspector’s recommendation, the Secretaries of State concluded that there was little evidence that there would be any impact on the bird populations such as to require an appropriate assessment under the Habitats Regulations. They also rejected concerns raised by local residents about the proximity of Dungeness nuclear power station.
Barristers from Landmark were involved on both sides of the Inquiry: acting on behalf of Shepway District Council, Paul Brown QC supported the applications, while David Forsdick led the opposition on behalf of the RSPB.
A copy of the decision letter can be found here