Whatever the cause of this, the saga has done little for his attempts to appear as a credible future prime minister.
For now though, the main reaction among campaigners against the airport will be relief. For six years Johnsons fevered vision has hovered over people living in the estuary like an alien invader. Now finally they can get back on with their lives.
The London mayor, Boris Johnson, has launched a withering attack on the “irrelevant” and “myopic” Airports Commission, after the panel tasked with deciding where to build additional runways in the south-east finally ruled out his plan for a new hub in the Thames estuary.
The commission said that after detailed study it had concluded the proposal for a new four-runway airport had “substantial disadvantages that collectively outweigh its potential benefits”.
The commission chairman, Sir Howard Davies, said there were serious doubts about its operation and deliverability.
He said: “The economic disruption would be huge and there are environmental hurdles which it may prove impossible, or very time-consuming to surmount. Even the least ambitious version of the scheme would cost £70bn to £90bn with much greater public expenditure involved than in other options – probably some £30bn to £60bn in total.”
As the young people might say, “Suck it, Boris”.
Plans to build a 24-hour £39bn hub airport on large sandbanks off the Kent coast have been unveiled.
Engineering firm Beckett Rankine wants to construct a four-runway airport on Goodwin Sands near Deal.
Director Tim Beckett said it was the “most sustainable solution” to aviation expansion in the South East and would have the “least adverse impact”.
The plan for the hub airport, the fourth proposed for the South East, is being opposed by environmentalists.
The Goodwin Sands are a series of shifting sandbanks, 11 miles long and six miles wide, that are also the site of historic shipwrecks.
They just won’t give it a rest, will they?
But Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) spokesman Jamie Weir said: “Many South East airports such as Manston currently have plenty of runway capacity, so why are new airport proposals being pitched on a daily basis?
“The question of whether we actually need fresh capacity is the one which needs to be answered before we start looking for sites. This proposal, like all of those in the Thames Estuary, fails to even recognise this.
“We believe that the UK government must prove the need for additional capacity before anything like this is contemplated.”
Earlier in the week, BoJo was pontificating on Stansted. That’s another airport outside his jurisdiction. Perhaps Kent County Council, Medway Council and the local authority for Stansted should start proposing wholesale redevelopment of London.
Building an island airport on the Goodwin Sands won’t cause environmental problems? They are completely barking.
We are campaigning against an airport on or near the Thames Estuary because it would be:
• Unaffordable for the UK
• Responsible for concreting over much of Kent
• A source of significant noise and pollution
• In the wrong location
• Devastating for wildlife
I want to post fun and interesting things, but sadly the rest of the world keeps wanting to annoy and frustrate me. The pie-in-the-sky proposals for a hub airport on the Thames Estuary or North Kent Marshes is one of the latter. I really hope the Conservative’s very own BoJo the Clown is made to eat custard pie over this.
Mr Lake said: “I’m keen on an estuary airport because I think it is a viable option and it’s something that we really need in the South East.”
He said people in west Kent were “already devastated” by Gatwick flights over the area and, when asked about the effect of an estuary airport on residents in Medway and on the Isle of Grain, he said: “We want to share the burden.”
Oh, how very generous of you, Mr Lake.
If Hoo were chosen, which isn’t unlikely, the question then becomes: what would be destroyed to make way for it? The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has, as usual, the quickest and simplest answer – the wetland habitats of visiting species – but beyond that the losses are less definable, and not so easy to raise a fuss over. Since Dickens’s day, the creeks and marshes of Hoo have had a bleak form of celebrity as the spot where Pip first met Magwitch, and where prison hulks (Magwitch had just escaped from one of them) could be occasionally glimpsed through the mist on the Medway. In fact, the countryside is prettier and hillier than you expect. On a hot day last week, workers from Poland and Bulgaria were spreading straw across fields of strawberries while the knapped flint of Hoo’s several 13th-century churches shone in the sun. There is also a 14th-century castle owned by Jools Holland and a workaday marina, about as far from Cowes in its social atmosphere as it’s possible to get.
It’s no surprise I—as many residents in the Medway Towns and surrounding areas—oppose the plans for an airport on Hoo. I found this a thoughtful piece from last Saturday’s Guardian.
The Liberal Democrats are calling for plans for a Thames Estuary airport to be scrapped following a report into a shipwreck full of explosives off Kent.
The American cargo ship SS Richard Montgomery sank off Sheerness in 1944, containing 1,400 tonnes of explosives.
Lib Dem Julian Huppert said without a “plan to deal with this mess there’s no way” the plans will get off the ground.
Engineers found it would not stop construction, a spokesman for the Mayor of London said.
Explosive ship wreck, fog, flocks of migrating birds, and lots of vociferous objectors. Of course Boris will get his folly.
Opponents of a new airport in the Thames Estuary have welcomed a government decision to designate the land earmarked for the project as a new wildlife haven.
The Thames Marshes have been included in a list of 12 Nature Improvement Areas and campaigners believe this could scupper the project.
The RSPB and Medway Council believe the airport would damage the environment.
However, supporters of the idea say the UK needs more airport capacity.
The airport would be built partly on reclaimed land and could be on either an island or a peninsula.
A ray of hope.
Help us to oppose the estuary airport scheme by emailing Boris direct.
BoJo is at it again.
Visit the site linked above, which is supported by Medway Council, Kent County Council and the RSPB, and send an email to the Mayor of London registering your displeasure. I have.
I’ve only just discovered the North Kent Marshes, despite having lived in the area for over two decades. I like the fact there is such a large area of wilderness, sandwiched between the Thames and Medway. I like the fact the unique landscape of marshland is home to all kinds of wildlife, and to hardy souls who live in scattered communities across the Hoo Peninsula. It saddens me that the Mayor of London persists in trying to destroy this place, with some pie-in-the-sky dream of enticing some 75 million Chinese to buy duty free tat as they swap planes for an onward journey to who knows where!
But now the new Transport Secretary Justine Greening has refused to rule out the possibility of building an airport in the Thames Estuary.
Speaking at a conference of airport operators Ms Greening, who was appointed last month, said all the options for increasing airport capacity in the South East would have to be considered – including a new airport offshore between Kent and Essex.
So, it seems the plans, despite being dismissed by opponents could, if Lord Foster gets his way, yet fly.
This thing just won’t lay down and die, will it?
Answers, please: what happens to London City Airport, Biggin Hill, Southend, Manston, Stansted, and all the smaller airfields in the vicinity?
What will happen to the environment? It might look like the Hoo Peninsula is a wasteland, but that’s purely because hardly anything human lives there. It’s one of the few truly wild places left in North Kent, and should be left as such.
Why does a UK hub have to be so close to London anyway? What about all the ex-RAF airfields in East Anglia that could be renovated to act as a hub airport? I’d rather revamp a brownfield site that shit upon a green one.
I am concerned that the newly-promoted Transport Secretary appears to be positive to this project. I had been assured by my local MP that the Government was against such large projects in the Thames Estuary. I fervently hope that Kent County Council, Medway Council and the local MPs continue to oppose Boris Johnson foisting projects on an area which is outside his remit.
Best Beloved came up with an idea. If BoJo wants a new London Airport, how about flattening the West End? It would have perfect transport links to the main northern railway routes.