Allhallows is a village in Kent with a total population of about 2,000. It is situated at the end of the Hoo peninsula; the spur of land which lies between the estuaries of the Rivers Thames and Medway, and despite what the local and national media often state, we are not on the Isle of Grain. The Hoo peninsula includes the villages of Hoo St Werburgh, St Mary's Hoo, Chattenden, Stoke, Allhallows, High Halstow, Cooling, Cliffe and Cliffe Woods, with Higham and Wainsott to the western boundary of the area as well as much of the North Kent Marshes. Grain lies to the eastern end of the peninsula, no longer a true island as the separating waterway, Yantlet, silted over several hundred years ago.
Current time in Allhallows
These weather conditions are observed from Canvey Island, near Southend in Essex which is opposite Allhallows on the north bank of the River Thames so near enough to be having the same weather as Allhallows.
Since the announcement in the House of Commons in December 2003 when the government rejected "Cliffe Airport" there have been moves to challenge the decision and proposals put forward for an airport in the Thames Estuary ("Boris Island") or on the Isle of Grain.
All the previous arguments for rejecting Ciffe would hold true for these proposals too.
We were, and still are, totally opposed to the building of an airport on the Hoo Peninsula for the following reasons:
1, The appallingly high numbers of homes that would be 'physically taken'; at least two and half the number taken for three runways at Stanstead, a third runway at Heathrow and a realigned runway at Luton combined. Where would 5,000+ people be rehoused?
2, The huge amount of land that would be lost; again more than the total for all the other first tier options combined. Much of this land is VERY important ecologically and protected by national and international laws.
3, The destruction of habitat for hundreds of thousands of birds.
4, The destruction of two churches and burial grounds, one of which is currently in use, the other has some fairly recent interments.
5, The high levels of noise that would affect Medway, Gravesham and Southend.
6, Massive increase in pollution; at first from the construction of the airport and infra structure and then from the operation of the airport.
7, Huge incursion of workforce; the total jobless figures for Kent and Medway is about 19,000 whilst an airport would generate 79,000 jobs. Where would the other 60,000 workers come from and where would they live?
8, Prospects of flooding across what would remain of the Hoo Peninsular due to the building on marshland flood plain making the remaining properties un-insurable.
9, Building of a large airport to the east of London, the 'far side' for the majority of the UK population, would add to the general congestion of south east England.
10, Dangers from nearby oil refinery, gas storage depot and sunken ammunition ship.
If increased airport capacity is required for London, then existing London airports ahould be expanded along with improved infrastructure (high speed rail connections) between them. If the need is for a hub airport to serve the United Kingdom it should surely be sited somewhere in the middle of the country; maybe somewhere between Birmingham and Manchester, and not down in the south east corner of England.
The RSPB and Friends of the North Kent Marshes are actively campaigning against these proposals.
View Tony Watson's Notes from Medway's Hoo Peninsula blog with then and now pictures.