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Rochford Council’s Airport Meeting Cancelled

June 28, 2009 by  

southend-on-seaThe Extraordinary Full Council Meeting to be held in Rochford on 16 July has been cancelled.

It is understood that residents intended to attend the meeting to hear what their councillors thought about the JAAP Plans for Southend Airport.

Residents in both Southend and Rochford have expressed concerns about the plans in the public consultation and have read in the Press about an apparent about turn by many Southend Councillors. This was followed by a critical Press Release from Rochford District Council that the administration remain wholly in favour.

No new date has been advised as yet and no reasons for the sudden cancellation have been given.

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2 Responses to “Rochford Council’s Airport Meeting Cancelled”
  1. Editor says:

    Paul Warren, Chief Executive advised me as follows;

    There is nothing untoward re this. The July date was envisaged based on a certain timeframe for consultation and an estimation as to the likely level of response to the consultation.

    The consultation period was extended by around 6 weeks at Southend’s behest and the volume of responses being processed is consequently greater than at first thought.

    It is therefore pointless going ahead with a special meeting while there is still much work to be done around processing the consultations and preparing material prior to bringing the submission version of the plan into the member arena.

    Have no fear, once that work has been done, the JAAP will be brought into the member arena. With the summer recess coming up, I would envisage the submitted version of the JAAP coming to full Council in the autumn.

  2. Editor says:

    Airport may not be ready for Olympics

    By Geoff Percival from the Standard, Southend

    THE expansion at Southend Airport may not be completed in time for the 2012 Olympics, worried councillors have revealed.

    Councillors will not even begin looking at the results of the public consultation about the plans until the autumn.

    A decision by both Southend and Rochford District Council on the results of the Joint Area Action Plan for the airport was originally expected before the summer recess in August.

    But the massive amount of public response to the consultation has meant delays before there is any chance of a policy being put in place.

    Southend Council leader Nigel Holdcroft said: “There have been delays particularly in Rochford with getting together all the responses. There certainly won’t be any further developments before the autumn.”

    Privately, council sources are admitting the amount of opposition in Leigh and Eastwood to airport expansion and the extension of the runway and diversion of Eastwoodbury Lane is a major problem politically to the Tories whose majority on the council has reduced in recent years.

    A source said: “If a decision can be put off until after the general election which is likely to be the same day as the local election in May next year, then there is a good chance the Conservatives will have a big majority and be able to go through with the expansion scheme.”

    Keith Hudson, Rochford district councillor responsible for planning, said: “About 2,000 people sent comments in writing rather than electronically and these have all to be put into the system manually.”

    Sources at Rochford Council say the council is still firmly committed to the airport and the jobs which could be brought into the area by the expansion.

    An insider said: “Delays are unfortunate, especially with the clock ticking down to the 2012 Olympics, but we remain confident we will be able to have everything in place by then.”

    No one from the airport was available to comment yesterday.

    Alastair Welch, airport managing director, said he was not surprised there was going to be a delay in the local authorities making any decision on the joint area action plan because the consultation period had been extended from early April to mid May.

    He added: “The plan covers many complex, interwoven topics and we would hope the local councils would fully consider the responses they have had to their recent consultation exercise.

    “We continue to focus on the development of the local airport in time to support the Olympics in 2012.”

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