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Boris Island airport plan is ludicrous’

PUBLISHED: 17:48 01 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:26 25 August 2010

A STUDY into the building of a floating airport in the Thames Estuary dubbed Boris Island has been slammed by campaigners.

A STUDY into the building of a floating airport in the Thames Estuary dubbed 'Boris Island' has been slammed by campaigners.

Staff working alongside Boris Johnson have officially confirmed they are weeks away from launching a feasibility study in to the plan.

But this week the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) attacked the proposal for an airport housed on an artificial island in the Thames Estuary.

It comes three years after the option was axed in a government study and six years after resident defeated plans for Cliffe Airport.

Chris Corrigan, the RSPB's south east director, said: "Mr Johnson doesn't seem to have grasped UK law that before you destroy a protected habitat you have to recreate it somewhere else first.

"How do you recreate massive areas of the Thames Estuary? And even then he would have to prove that there is no alternative site for the expansion anywhere else. It's just ludicrous."

The estuary contains Europe's biggest amount of Special Protected Areas and is used by 300,000 migratory birds.

Over 150,000 people objected to an airport on Cliffe Marshes when first mooted in 2002. It was eventually dropped due to risk of a plane being crashed by 'birdstrike'.

The Reporter first revealed the Mr Johnson's plans in February this year

His spokesperson said: "The Mayor is keen to know what the alternatives are to expansion at Heathrow and would like to know whether the idea of a new airport in the Thames Estuary would be viable or not.

"He therefore wants to undertake a study to establish the feasibility of the idea once and for all and is in the process of examining the best way to take the study forward."

jason.goodyer@archant.co.uk


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