Do you ever hear the exasperated cry “Its not about birds !! Its about people !!
If the airport is built here the price of my house will fall through the floor ! ….. Generations of our family have lived and worked here for years, our great grandparents are buried in the local Church. Moving away will mean breaking the family apart, changing doctors, losing friends, my children will have to move school I will have to find a new job! …. I don’t know If I can cope?? All of this and everyone is shouting save the birds, save the birds, what about the people don’t we matter??
If Government decide after its consultation that an airport somewhere needs a new runway or we do need a brand new airport in the Thames Estuary or elsewhere, then, a community somewhere will have to go through all the disruption and uncertainty of blight, selling up, moving away and starting again….. Yes some will be compensated by having their properties purchased .. generally the prices paid are about 10% over market value but the level of that compensation will never cover the loss and by the time the property is valued it has already dropped in price, after all its already dropped just talking about the consultation!!
Government know and expect all this they include it in the calculations. Our whole economy and way of life is built on expansion, growth and profit and has been for 100s of years. We monitor and try to predict growth down to 3 decimal places.. it a fixation !.
Government expect communities under threat to shout… Don’t build it here !! … Why don’t you build elsewhere!! Its called Nimbyism (Not In My Back Yard) If we are labelled NIMBYs our voice is discounted straight away. Every potential site for development of any kind has NIMBY’s its a natural reaction to change. Some even get carried away with their arguments and are labelled BANANAs. (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone).!
So where does that leave us ? what sort of defence should we adopt ? we hear you ask !
We have one big advantage over Government or a developer …. We know exactly what is here that would make the idea of building an airport “Pie in the sky” and we can you shouting out ..Yes !!! … The Richard Montgomery …. The LNG plant … The aviation fuel depot (BP) … The Grade One listed buildings …. The grade one farmland…. and yes you guessed it ….. The Birds !!!
350,000 of them that fly here every year, and have done so for the last million years and will continue to do so for the next million years. In fact its so special for birds here that the european Community have declared it a special place for birds… The RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) consider The Greater Thames Estuary to be the 2nd most important place in the country for Birds. And don’t forget the RSPB already have 1.2 million members saying the same message.!!! Their Moto gives it all away “For Bird For People Forever”
Let not forget that! … Lets celebrate it! … Lets ask government to develop here with the birds and wildlife in mind!. Develop jobs here with the birds and wild life in mind! Expand our Green Tourism, Green Jobs. They have made a start, probably unwittingly, by awarding the Thames Estuary a share of the £7.5 million to create more of what we already have “Fantastic Habitats” for …..Birds…. If you get a chance visit Cliffe pools and see for yourself the improvements already made.
This is what Salt lane Looked like before the Aviation consultation in 2002.