There have been suggestions that the Hoo peninsula would be a suitable site for a new airport since the 1960s and possibly even earlier. On a map the residential areas are spread through a number of villages with other housing based generally around larger farming areas. The Hoo Peninsula and Isle of Sheppey stand out in the Thames Estuary with sea to the east. However in all previous studies the sites have been dismissed.
The last major study during the government’s previous consultation identified the environmental issues as the key barrier. Local, regional, national european and worldwide commitments have been made to protect various large sites on the peninsula and the wider Thames estuary from direct and indirect impacts (e.g. RAMSAR, Special Protection Areas and many more).
Although these commitments do not prevent development ‘in the national interest’ it has to be demonstrated that there are no other options. If it gets the go-ahead then in mitigation an environment of greater that that lost must be provided.
Establishment of an alternative environment is not simple. The North Kent Marshes are a combination of a rich mudflat in river and an alternative on-shore when the tide comes in. This has taken centuries to be formed and is not possible to create a complete eco system if at all. It has never been done on this scale in the world before!
The Hoo peninsula also has no significant connectivity to either the A2/M2 southbound or Essex and expensive infrastructure would need to be provided.
Despite how it may look on a map, the villages and landscape have a rich history with castles, churches, forts and other significant listed buildings and landscapes.