Airport plan WILL waste money AND could cost lives 

Home Information A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity about to be Squandered?

A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity about to be Squandered?

Published on November 12, 2014 in Information



It is becoming increasingly clear that Medway Council’s Rochester Airport Masterplan supported by Kelly Tolhurst and Medway Conservative Councillors is terminally sick and possibly the biggest travesty  perpetrated on the people of  Medway in recent times.

Our campaign from the outset has been to put the people of Medway first in demanding rightful consultation on the future of Rochester Airport along with alternative options for the use of the land which we as residents of Medway could choose or vote for. Our Conservative Councillors denied us comprehensive  democratic consultation  and  dictated what they wanted.

One of the options for the future use of the land would almost certainly  have been an opportunity to offer the site (which  we as residents own through Medway Council ) to the NHS Medway Maritime Trust but Kelly Tolhurst would rather have a dirty airport than a prestigious and  enviable  hospital in Medway where doctors and nurses would want to work.

Peppercorn Rent.

imagesHUBVI19O EntranceThe 110  acres of airport land owned by Medway Council  has recently been  rented to the  airport operator for a tiny £30K per annum and will be leased to them until 2039.

Those presently benefiting from the airport’s cheap deal are a handful of fly-for-fun aircraft owners, many of whom live out of the area and could easily fly from Headcorn or other more suitable aerodromes.

Alternative Uses

Despite repeated calls from the local Medway community to at least have a say in possible alternative uses for the Rochester Airport site, Medway’s arrogant Conservative Council steadfastly refuses to listen to local people by not allowing proper public consultation on its flawed airport masterplan.

Objections have been voiced concerning the diminishing safety of the airport that is now hemmed in on all sides by road, residential developments, schools and local industry. Concerns range from aircraft parts falling – as happened recently – to the real risk of a full-blown aircraft crash.

A New NHS Hospital

Our NHS Medway Maritime Hospital staff are brilliant but the old Victorian site is severely constrained and with an expanding Medway  population the hospital and staff are extremely challenged.

It is not surprising that it is becoming difficult to recruit GP’s to the area when they look at our overcrowded piecemeal hospital with a mix  of old naval hospital buildings and bolt on extensions.

The  old hospital site does not have the land to build elderly care centres alongside the main hospital and now being forced to fragment its various expanding departments (Will Adams Centre)  into small disparate units dotted around the Medway Towns.

Opposition political parties are now waking up to the fact that the old Rochester Airport site would make an ideal location for a new Medway Maritime Hospital next-door to the new Kent Fire Brigade HQ.

An Ideal Location

A rent of £30K per year for the use of the 110 acre site would give the financially-strapped NHS a real boost. It would allow the Trust to design and build a hospital for Medway to be proud of. It would be a major benefit to the whole of the community rather than a small number of hobby flyers, whose only contribution is noise and potential hazard.

A new hospital would be built to modern thermally efficient standards, reducing energy costs for the new hospital buildings and all of the hospital departments could be situated on one site.

The airport land is nice and flat – ideal for a new hospital – and the easy access afforded by bus and the nearby A229, A2/M2 and the M20 would make the Rochester Airport land the best logical location.

Are you prepared to allow Medway Council’s ruling Conservatives to squander this once in a lifetime opportunity to build a new, state-of-the-art Medway Maritime Hospital for the benefit of all?



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7 Comments  comments 

7 Responses

  1. Michelle

    It would be fantastic to have another or new hospital in Medway rather than the airport expansion but the expansion is going to cost £4.4m opposed to an average of £500m to build a new hospital. The council may have trouble finding that sort of money. When I bought my house in Medway 27 years ago I considered the airport and was happy to buy because I though this was just a small airport with just a few flights that would not affect me. I did not imagine that all these years later I would have the worry of my life being disturbed by aircraft noise. So I don’t want the airport expansion but is there anything we can do to prevent this from happening?

  2. Jennifer

    It is absurd that the current airport plans have even been considered as I believe this would have 100% negative impact on local residents. The way it has been pushed through has been sneaky and with the feeling of a fix from day one. It is rushed and hushed and residents should be provided with all possible options so that an informed and fair decision could be made based on the majority vote from residents not councillors with motives or who don’t actually live in the flight path. The site would be perfect for a hospital and would be so beneficial for our area in every way.

  3. John Arnold

    I cannot think of any benefit coming out of the Rochester Airport expansion, a new Hospital on the site would be such a benefit to the whole of the Medway Towns and is desperately needed.

    John Arnold

  4. C.Hodgson

    Medway desperately required a hospital that will be able to contain all departments of medical care that would serve the community of Medway. The airport field would be an ideal location to build same. I think that ALL members of ALL political persuasions on Medway council should support same.
    Why should residents of Medway subsidise a few ‘ fun Flyers ‘ (most of whom do not reside in the area) to the tune of £4 Million +.

  5. Mrs sandra busbridge

    All other possible uses for this amazing site MUST and SHOULD be considered and the people of Rochester listened to.

  6. Iris Ironmonger

    I am sure that if we had a vote Airport Expansion vs New Medway Hospital 90% of Residents would vote for the Hospital. Why haven’t we been given this opportunity. NHS First every time.


    I agree, the same applies to the dreadful decision to try and overturn the protection on Lodge Hills wildlife supported by Labour and Conservative, None are without sin saddly

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