Last-ditch bid to stop Lydd Airport expansion

Lydd Airport terminal design Lydd Airport bosses want the airport to take up to 500,000 passengers a year

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A legal challenge to the government's go-ahead for a Kent airport to expand is being heard at London's High Court.

The £25m project for Lydd Airport includes a runway extension of almost 300m (328yds) and a new terminal block.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) wants the decision quashed because the surrounding land is of "exceptional" importance to birds.

The Lydd Airport Action Group (LAAG) said "unique natural habitats on Romney Marsh" would be damaged and urbanised.

'Economy boost'

The airport, also known as London Ashford Airport, is close to the Dungeness nuclear plant, an RSPB nature reserve and a military range.

It was given permission to expand last April, with the new terminal capable of handling up to 500,000 passengers a year instead of the current 200,000.

Officials behind the plans have said the expansion will boost the Kent economy and bring benefits across south-east England.

The RSPB and LAAG have lodged separate appeals, both of which are being heard by Mr Justice Ouseley this week.

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