Consultation – On The Airport

March 10, 2009 by  

Please let us have your Comments !!

Please add them to this Article and also add them to the Council’s Web Site,

I am very concerned about the future capacity of the B1013 to accommodate the vehicle traffic from the extended airport and the 3300 houses that the Government require to be built in our District.  I have seen no studies from Essex County Council which allay my concerns. I have already raised these concerns with the airport.

One of the Options (2.1) in the concurrent consultation on the Hockley Town Centre Regeneration Plan involves building up to 200 houses/apartments on the Eldon Way Industrial Estate.  Is this the best Option ignoring the interests of protecting Hawkwell’s green belt?  Where would the industrial users go?  To the proposed new industrial area at the Airport. If this Option were chosen then the total number of houses that are proposed to be built on green belt in Hawkwell could be reduced from 330 to 130 which in turn could be built on a brown field site like the industrial site at Magees in Hawkwell.

But if there the airport expansion plan does not get approval then the Eldon Way Industrial Estate has nowhere to move to and 330 houses will still be built on Hawkwell’s green belt.

What a dilemma for Hawkwell residents !! Is the key to Hawkwell’s future to say no to the Airport Expansion and No to the 330 houses?  Residents could say that or alternatively elect to press the Government and Essex County Council to provide the right highway infrastruture to allow the airport to go ahead and reduce the houses required in Hawkwell.

Southend Borough Council and Rochford District Council are in the process of preparing a Joint Area Action Plan in response to the challenges and opportunities offered by London Southend Airport, together with an airport related employment cluster.

The JAAP will;

* Manage growth and change in the area by establishing development and design principles
* Ensure the protection of areas and places sensitive to change
* Direct investment and form the basis for regeneration in the area
* Be deliverable

Rochford and Southend Borough Council produced an ‘Issues and Options’ Report which sets out the initial analysis and possible spatial plans for the development of the area in the period to 2021.

Following extensive consultation the Council’s have prepared a ‘Preferred Options’ version of the plan, which sets out the vision for the future of the airport and the linked employment land and provides details of the policy framework that will be required to deliver the vision.

The ‘Preferred Options’ document is now published for consultation – comments should be submitted by 27 March 2009.

You can download the document here (3 Mb)



2 Responses to “Consultation – On The Airport”
  1. Editor says:

    1st May 2009

    Councillor J R F Mason
    “Wistaria Cottage”
    Englefield Close
    SS5 4LE

    Dear Councillor Mason,

    Southend Airport and the Joint Area Action Plan

    With the Joint Area Action Plan consultation underway, you may be aware that the airport has, alongside Rochford and Southend Councils, taken the opportunity to speak to the wider community about issues surrounding airport growth. I thought, at this point, it would be useful to share some of the responses we have been able to give on many of the key issues raised.

    Firstly whilst the JAAP consultation covers the plans for the development of the airport and the identification of employment land-many of the issues and concerns raised have been about the proposals for the development of the airport.

    We remain committed to working alongside the two councils on our plans for the airport and to ensure appropriate controls are agreed and to reassure those with concerns. I share some of the responses we have been able to give on issues raised with us to date, below:

    Aircraft Noise

    A key incentive for the extension to the airport runway is the ability to accommodate modern aircraft eMrrently using regional hub airports today. With the current runway, Southend would still grow and evolve from where it is today but be hampered and constrained by relying on older, noisier and less fuel efficient aircraft running very short haul flights in the UK and northern Europe.

    It is a fact that newer aircraft that require an extended runway to operate, take off and climb significantly more quietly and more steeply than commercial aircraft using the airport today. On landing an increased approach angle and new landing instrumentation would increase the angle of approach ensuring that commercial aircraft will generally be higher on landing over Southend and Leigh than is the case today. We believe that the use of these modern aircraft would assist in reducing the noise levels experienced by residents from aircraft movements and in our formal response on the JAAP we hope to be able to provide noise contours for the airport in 2020 based on our latest air traffic forecasts. These will allow a comparison of noise impacts for the airport with the longer runway and if the runway remained as it is today.


    Air cargo in the UK today is predominantly transported in long haul passenger aircraft or dedicated wide bodied freighters. This size of aircraft will never be able to use Southend airport with or without an extended runway. The niche cargo that has traditionally been flown in and out of Southend airport is low volume, high value goods such as aircraft parts, high tech machine parts and urgent medical supplies. This is a small part of the overall operation of the airport and we propose to continue this activity.

    The concern that some people have expressed that Stobart Group intend to develop a general goods depot at the airport is unfounded; this concept is not commercially viable and we have no intention of doing this.

    Night Flying

    Currently more than 900 flights per month are permitted to take place at night. We fully accept our need to commit to a dramatic reduction in night flights if the Councils are to support the development of the airport.

    Traffic and Transport

    Based on our understanding of the airport and the surrounding road network, the airport at 2 million passengers (10-15 years in the future) would, in the peak hour result in around 240 passenger related road movements per hour in each direction. Due to scheduling by airlines, these peaks normally occur before the morning roads peak and after the evening roads peak.
    Putting the expected traffic movements for a 2 million passenger airport into context, we would expect that the traffic movements at peak times would be around the number associated at peak times with a typical supermarket – and significantly less than a major superstore.

    Eastwood bury Lane Diversion

    The current lane is heavily used by local traffic and it is recognised that the road would need to be diverted rather than closed. The diversion would also reduce the current issues and delays relating to closure when aircraft are on the runway – something which would otherwise occur more frequently in future.

    The proposed route has not yet been finalised however it would look to link the two parts of the road around the edge of the proposed extension, creating a more reliable and well-designed alternative to the existing lane.

    Flight Frequency

    In 2020, with the current runway, our latest forecasts, which we have commissioned from one of the UK’s foremost air traffic forecasting companies, predict 52,500 movements per annum whilst with an extended runway, the total is estimated at 53,300 movements. The total number of movements would be very similar in either scenario – but the type of flight and destinations we could serve would vary.

    Our aim is to see Southend Airport operating at around 2 million passengers per annum to a range of holiday and business destinations, there would be around 145 movements per day split between departures and arrivals. As they arrive and depart in different directions, this would be around 70 flights a day, or an average of less than 4 an hour. This figure – which is an average, includes flying club, business jet and other movements in 2020.

    For reference, today the airport handles around 42,000 movements per year, around 115 per day and 3 an hour.
    Today, the residents of Rochford and Southend alone make around 500,000 journeys to/from Europe by air each year. If the European flights from residents in Castle Point and Basildon are added, this total is more than 900,000. Far from being a London overspill, we see Southend being an airport serving the local community and reducing the need for local residents to travel further afield to fly.

    We also firmly believe that the improvements we plan for the airport will be a major boost to the economy of the area by enhancing its attractiveness to business in addition to providing other benefits that are currently lost to other locations that are well served by airports.

    We believe there is strong support for the airport and its potential. We are firmly committed to delivering a viable regional airport, which fully supports the Councils’ preferred option which balances the needs and views of the wider community, encourages a new, thriving business community, brings thousands of new jobs to the area, and enables an airport which the community values and is proud of. I hope you have found this additional information useful and should you require any further detail, I would be happy to speak to you in person or by telephone.

    Yours sincerely

    Alastair Welch
    Managing Director

  2. Editor says:

    Southend Airport expansion plan could be in jeopardy according to the Echo on Monday, 25 May.

    There is a follow up article in the Echo today, 27 May, which is based on a Press Release from Councillors Cutmore and Hudson. I cannot find a link to the article on the Echo site but here is the Press Release.

    I must admit that given that this consultation is on a JAAP, A Joint Area Action Plan, between Southend Borough Council and Rochford District Council, I am very surprised that there has not been a joint press release.

    So on the face of things the situation doesn’t look “too” joint right now………if things continue on this path there won’t be a JAAP anymore under PPS12 !!

    That would cause huge problems for both Councils. Lets hope that they can jointly respond to the consultation and come up with a plan for the airport that works for the people of both Southend and Rochford. That’s the job they all took on in their roles as Councillors with important, well rewarded, positions in their respective cabinets.

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