Safety fears over South East airport expansion

Updated: 

Transport - Lydd (London Ashford) Airport

An airport in south-east England should not be allowed to expand because it is too close to a nuclear power station, campaigners say. Source: Press Association.

The Lydd Airport Action Group wants a High Court judge to block expansion of the airport in Lydd, Kent.

Officials say the nearby Dungeness B power station was not built to withstand hits by aircraft above a certain weight.

Lawyers representing the action group spelled out members' concerns today.

In written submissions, they said the crux of their case was that allowing the airport to expand as planned would not be safe.

Mr Justice Ouseley will decide whether to quash ministers' decisions to approve planning permission for expansion after analysing evidence at a High Court hearing, which started in London on Tuesday.

He has heard that the airport has a terminal able to process 200,000 passengers a year and expansion would see that number rise to 500,000.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is also against expansion.

Officials say land around the airport is of "exceptional" importance to birds and argue that expansion could harm "internationally important" bird populations.