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AN ESTUARY airport could lead to the closure of Southend Airport, flooding in south Essex and the biggest ever non-nuclear explosion, Southend Council has warned.

The council has set out its strong opposition to proposals for an airport in the Thames Estuary in an eight-page report to go before councillors today, Thursday, January 31.

The authority set out its objections in a dossier to be considered as part of a Government commission into airport capacity in the South East, and drawing up a battle plan to fight it as strongly as possible.

Author Paul Mathieson, manager of the strategic transport and planning policy group at the council, said: “The introduction of a Thames Estuary airport could negatively impact upon our ability to deliver a prosperous Southend, if (Southend) airport is affected and a clean Southend with minimal impact on the natural environment.

“A robust response to the airport commission will contribute towards safeguarding those areas which could otherwise be compromised by the proposed developments.”

The report identifies five key areas that an estuary airport could harm - the environment and noise, a rise in sea levels and the impact on tides, safety risks, the affordability of the proposals, and the impact on economic development.