David Cameron has paved the way for Essex to host London’s fourth international airport in the Thames Estuary – and a Chelmsford man has a £25bn plan to make the dream a reality. Mr Cameron has now backed London Mayor Boris Johnson’s bid for an international airport in the south of Essex.
And Roy Haynes, of Danbury, who was head of design at Ford and British Leyland and created the Mark II Cortina in 1966 and Morris Marina in 1971, has been sparked back into action by the news. ‘I have tried to get this in front of David Cameron but had a low-level response. I am now seeking a meeting with our MP, John Whittingdale,’ he said. ‘I believe my plan to use Foulness Island is practicable. I believe there could be a return for investors and zero cost to the taxpayer.’
Several plans for using an island in the Foulness area for an offshore airport have gone nowhere in the past. Former Essex MP Lord Jenkin of Roding was promoter of a scheme in 2003 which failed to get off the ground. And more recently Sir Terry Farrell has suggested creating a huge island complex near Shoeburyness for a new anti-flood Thames barrier and lower Thames road crossing combined, which others have piggy-backed with an airport project.
But Mr Haynes, 87, a father of three who has spent much of the past seven years in Florida, USA, working on yacht design, is delighted the Government is willing to do a feasibility study into a Thames Estuary airport and that consultation will start in weeks. Back in the 1960s Maplin Sands, off Foulness Island, was one of four options for the new London airport. The town of South Woodham Ferrers was built to house airport personnel but the airport project never happened when the Government backed Stansted.
Other sites the commission looked at included Willingale, four miles from Chelmsford. Mr Haynes wants to build eight runways – four for landing and four for take-off, plus a “crosswind” runway on the Foulness islands themselves. His project is called Britannic Island.
‘It would not be just a Euro international airport but the largest single property development ever contemplated in the UK since the industrial revolution, bringing wealth and social improvements projecting Britain into the 21st century,’ he said.
He says much of the site can be constructed through deliveries by sea. ‘It would not be hard to extend the Shoeburyness to Fenchurch Street line right into the heart of the airport.’
[Source: This is Total Essex]