News : Marina designer plans Essex airport

Roy Haynes

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]

Keith Adams


  1. Calling an airport after the sister ship of the Titanic, that also sank… What could possibly go wrong…?

    Then theres the fun you could have with ice, 600 gallons of jp4 and lever arm dampers.

    Also, what precisely is a crosswind strip because if its what it sounds like to me its a mid air collision waiting to happen.

  2. A crazy idea! Having worked on Foulness island, it isn’t exactly transport link friendly! You could extend the C2C line and make it rail arrival only I guess. To grade all the munitions waste off the island wouldn’t be cheap either, however it is good to know that Roy Haynes still has a mind like a steak knife 🙂

  3. Just so long as there are no tight corners on the taxi strip to cause monumental aircraft understeer and hopefully all the controls in Air Traffic don’t face away from the operators.

    I can see the slogan now

    “An airport with brains behind it”

  4. Can’t wait to see the colour schemes- Harvest Gold (non-metallic dark beige) and Limeflower (dark beigey green).

    And lots and lots of interior beige PVC uphostory. And that smell of burning wiring that you just can’t pinpoint.

  5. Bully for him – still working at his age. Wonder what the yacht designs are like?

    Somewhere in Kent there’s an unused RAF WW2 airstrip with a massive runway ideal for the largest passenger jets, and no need to overfly London, but I guess that readymade option is just too easy for our politicians to get their heads around.

  6. @11, Chris C,

    They are probably use paddle wheels to use up old stock, and have a tendency to overshoot their moorings due to understeer, are alarming on high seas, and prone to frequent breakdowns miles from shore.

    On the positive side, they can probably be easily repaired using nothing more than a couple of universal wrenches, a tube of gasket goo, some WD40, and plenty of gaffa tape- essential for patching up rust holes.

  7. Glad to see that Roy Haynes is stil fighting fit at his age. Perhaps Keith ought to interview about his life at Ford, BL and beyond.

  8. @2 You lack vision.

    It’s not just HS2, it’s HS3, HS4, the HS network as a whole, and this has to be in place for the next 100 years. The only cause of money wastage right now is the dilly-dallying waiting for things to get moving.

  9. …..there’s nothing wrong with Haynes’ car designs – the Mk2 Cortina was crisp, clean looking, although a little lacking in character. The Marina was also quite an attractive and well-proportioned car at launch, especially in estate and TC guises. The bits that didn’t work were down to BL, rather than Haynes – and didn’t nearly every early 70s car have a horrible brown PVC interior? Datsun was particularly good at them IIRC. And the Hillman Avenger was no paragon of quality either! I also have a soft-spot for his Mini Clubman make-over, especially the 1275GT

  10. Great to see that Mr Haynes is still with us and as full of good ideas today as he was in the 60s where history has proved his plans to be spot-on. Keith, get on a plane or open a Skype session and interview him.

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