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Battle lines drawn over Boris airport

PUBLISHED: 15:34 18 November 2009 | UPDATED: 11:13 23 August 2010

CAMPAIGNERS say they are ready and mobilised to fight proposals by Mayor of London Boris Johnson to build an airport in the Thames Estuary. Their warning comes after a leaked document sent to senior leaders at the Greater London Authority seemed to put

CAMPAIGNERS say they are "ready and mobilised" to fight proposals by Mayor of London Boris Johnson to build an airport in the Thames Estuary.

Their warning comes after a leaked document sent to senior leaders at the Greater London Authority seemed to put the plans for an airport back on the agenda after months of speculation.

The document says the £40billion airport off the north Kent coast could be the "single biggest... and bravest project we do." Only last month, Boris told the GLA Transport committee he had no aspiration to build such an airport.

Now a group that have already fought a Thames Estuary airport plan at Cliffe Marshes back in 2002 say they are ready to launch a campaign if they need to.

Environmental groups say the plan, dubbed "Boris Island" will have a huge impact on north west Kent, and affect what is an internationally recognised area for migrating birds.

George Crozer, from Friends of North Kent Marshes, was one of the main players in fighting the Cliffe Airport plan and took part in marches and protests against the plan.

Mr Crozer said: "To do what they are proposing will cause huge damage to the environment, however they go about it.

"This area is an area that needs to be left for future generations. I would urge Boris to really look before he leaps.

"This is such a fantastic place and an entirely wrong place to put an airport. We have supporters both nationally and internationally who are ready and willing to mobilise and launch another campaign to stop this ever happening."

Mr Johnson has so far asked for a feasibility study into the plan and it is claimed oil rich gulf states have expressed an interest in bankrolling the scheme.

Last month Kent County Council and Medway Council, together with the RSPB launched a campaign called "Stop the Estuary Airport" which has so far collected a petition of 1,000 names.

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