Rochester Airport revamp to start in March after Highways England objection lifted
One of the county’s airports is finally due to get a long-awaited upgrade after a final objection to plans for a £4.4 million revamp was lifted.
A holding objection from Highways England preventing the start of improvement works at Rochester Airport has been removed.
The measure was put in place last year after it called for a risk assessment into the increased number of aircraft flying over the M2 motorway to be carried out.
Planning permission for the scheme – which includes a new control tower, hub buildings and relocated helipads – was granted in December by Medway Council, subject to Highways England’s satisfaction.
Cabinet member Cllr Rodney Chambers (Con) has confirmed work can now begin, with the 12-month programme set to start in March.
He told councillors yesterday (January 22): “We could not issue the decision notice, which was approval, because Highways England have the power to have a holding objection.
“I’m sure you’ll all be pleased – particularly those who have been supportive of the Rochester Airport proposals and development – that Highways England have lifted their holding objection and the notice has been issued.”
The scheme, which was been given £4.4 million of public money by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, will also help free up land for the Innovation Park Medway project.
According to the Rochester Airport Masterplan, 1,365 “new highly-skilled employment opportunities in engineering and technology” will be created by the scheme.
The business case for a further £3.7 million – already agreed by SELEP – will be determined in February.