Airport plan: Demolish church wall and cottages

Southend Standard: Rev Nigel Ransom next to church wall at St Laurence Church Rev Nigel Ransom next to church wall at St Laurence Church

A VICAR has spoken of his concern over proposals to demolish part of the churchyard wall to make way for the airport expansion plans.

The Rev Nigel Ransom of St Laurence and All Saints’ Church, in Eastwoodbury Lane, has spoken out after the runaway extension plans took another step forward.

Airport bosses have put forward a pre-planning application asking for Southend Council’s views on its plans before a formal application is submitted.

As part of the plans Eastwoodbury Lane would be diverted and part of the churchyard wall at St Laurence Church as well as six cottages would be demolished.

Mr Ransom said he wanted to protect the whole of the churchyard and said he had not received clear information from either the airport or the council over what was happening.

He added: “It would be of great concern to us if any part of the church’s property were to be compromised because of the expansion plans at the airport.”

When proposals to extend the runway were put forward originally in 2002, it was planned to move the whole of the 1,000-year- old church on rollers, using a technique which has been successfully carried out with historic buildings in other parts of the country.

This plan met with massive opposition from the church and local community and was dropped following negotiations with the Civil Aviation Authority.

As a result Southend Council used money from an Airport Reserve Fund, which came from selling off council-owned land, to install a new landing system and improved barriers across Eastwoodbury Lane.

This meant the church would not have to be moved as part of the expansion plans.

Jan Chambers, 53, has rented one of the cottages off Eastwoodbury Lane which has been earmarked for demolition for 11 years.

She said: “This is a very nice place to live.

“It is very good for walking my dogs and has fields nearby.

“If they decide to go ahead and knock the houses down I will have to find somewhere else to live. It would be difficult finding somewhere like this which lets me have my dogs.

“I would be very disappointed if they decide to go ahead and demolish the houses.

“The planes aren’t that much of a problem, most of the time you don’t hear them.”

Airport managing director Alastair Welch said: “Many detailed questions have been asked about the airport and the impact it may have in the future, especially if the runway were to be extended.

“To ensure we can give people the answers to questions they are understandably asking, we have brought forward work planned for an environmental impact assessment.

“We are keen to ensure it will provide answers to those areas around which some people have raised concerns.

“We anticipate completing this piece of work in September.”

No decision on expansion

NO decisions will be made about the airport expansion, until the results of the joint area action plan are known, council leader Nigel Holdcroft has said. The pre-application submission would give a clear indication about whether the proposals would be win favour with the development control committee or not. Mr Holdcroft said: “You could suggest the airport is anxious to keep the pressure on the council to make some decision on its proposals. However, we have not yet fully analysed the results of the Joint Area Action Plan consultation which has put forward options for the airport’s future. “It is an extremely complex issue and we cannot take a decision quickly without looking closely at all the issues involved.” Graham Longley, leader of the Lib Dem group on the council, said: “Our policy is quite clear. We will continue to oppose the airport’s expansion proposals unless we get answers to the questions we have asked and the concerns we have raised.”

Comments (16)

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12:11pm Tue 23 Jun 09

westcliffboy says...

I was looking at the planning application yesterday on the Council website and wondered how the Church would feel about this. I can't see the runway extension working with the Church in it's position. I reckon they will have to move the Church or not extend the runway.

Can you move a Church? Would they move it like that lighthouse which was in danger of falling into the sea. They jacked it up and moved it on heavy rollers about 400 yards back from the cliff edge. Is it feasible? What about the graves there?
I was looking at the planning application yesterday on the Council website and wondered how the Church would feel about this. I can't see the runway extension working with the Church in it's position. I reckon they will have to move the Church or not extend the runway. Can you move a Church? Would they move it like that lighthouse which was in danger of falling into the sea. They jacked it up and moved it on heavy rollers about 400 yards back from the cliff edge. Is it feasible? What about the graves there? westcliffboy
  • Score: 0

1:22pm Tue 23 Jun 09

Radar Ears says...

westcliffboy wrote:
I was looking at the planning application yesterday on the Council website and wondered how the Church would feel about this. I can't see the runway extension working with the Church in it's position. I reckon they will have to move the Church or not extend the runway. Can you move a Church? Would they move it like that lighthouse which was in danger of falling into the sea. They jacked it up and moved it on heavy rollers about 400 yards back from the cliff edge. Is it feasible? What about the graves there?
This has been "mooted" before and fierce opposition from everyoen around put a stop to it.

Nobody locally wants to see the church moved
[quote][p][bold]westcliffboy[/bold] wrote: I was looking at the planning application yesterday on the Council website and wondered how the Church would feel about this. I can't see the runway extension working with the Church in it's position. I reckon they will have to move the Church or not extend the runway. Can you move a Church? Would they move it like that lighthouse which was in danger of falling into the sea. They jacked it up and moved it on heavy rollers about 400 yards back from the cliff edge. Is it feasible? What about the graves there?[/p][/quote]This has been "mooted" before and fierce opposition from everyoen around put a stop to it. Nobody locally wants to see the church moved Radar Ears
  • Score: 0

1:54pm Tue 23 Jun 09

25JAS says...

Id like to see it move, it would be intresting to watch!
Id like to see it move, it would be intresting to watch! 25JAS
  • Score: 0

1:54pm Tue 23 Jun 09

BASILBRUSH says...

There is NO need to move the church. That is an old argument.

“The planes aren’t that much of a problem, most of the time you don’t hear them.”

A fantastic quote that shows that noise from the airport is also not the problem people say it will be. From someone who lives the closest.

Its a shame sometimes people have to go straight to the paper.
It sounds like the airport is going through all the right channels to ensure minimal disruption.
It is at the early stage of planning, hence 'pre-planning'.

There is NO need to move the church. That is an old argument. “The planes aren’t that much of a problem, most of the time you don’t hear them.” A fantastic quote that shows that noise from the airport is also not the problem people say it will be. From someone who lives the closest. Its a shame sometimes people have to go straight to the paper. It sounds like the airport is going through all the right channels to ensure minimal disruption. It is at the early stage of planning, hence 'pre-planning'. BASILBRUSH
  • Score: 0

2:07pm Tue 23 Jun 09

guygrim says...

25JAS wrote:
Id like to see it move, it would be intresting to watch!
How sad you are! Think about the building, its history, graves etc.
[quote][p][bold]25JAS[/bold] wrote: Id like to see it move, it would be intresting to watch![/p][/quote]How sad you are! Think about the building, its history, graves etc. guygrim
  • Score: 0

2:11pm Tue 23 Jun 09

guygrim says...

Hear hear, nothing says about moving the church itself they are talking about demolishing the "church boundary wall" and not touch the church.
Hear hear, nothing says about moving the church itself they are talking about demolishing the "church boundary wall" and not touch the church. guygrim
  • Score: 0

2:48pm Tue 23 Jun 09

Ivanna Goodhump says...

Whether you are for or against the expansion one has to say that the actions (not words) of both, the Councils involved and Stobarts gives great weight to the thought that the JAAP consultation is a charade to placate the locals and that Stobarts have actually been given the nod on the quiet.

It has also become apparent that only about 12% of the promised new jobs trumpeted in the JAAP will be airport/air industry related, the remainder will come from "other" unassociated industries/business supposedly filling the new industrial units around the expanded airport.

Now as there is susbstantial numbers of vacant industrial premesis of all sizes currently within the towns boundaries, the Council should be working to attract these business's anyway. These alleged "new" jobs are therefore not solely reliant on the expanded airport and therefore should not be shown as an exclusive benefit in the JAAP.
Whether you are for or against the expansion one has to say that the actions (not words) of both, the Councils involved and Stobarts gives great weight to the thought that the JAAP consultation is a charade to placate the locals and that Stobarts have actually been given the nod on the quiet. It has also become apparent that only about 12% of the promised new jobs trumpeted in the JAAP will be airport/air industry related, the remainder will come from "other" unassociated industries/business supposedly filling the new industrial units around the expanded airport. Now as there is susbstantial numbers of vacant industrial premesis of all sizes currently within the towns boundaries, the Council should be working to attract these business's anyway. These alleged "new" jobs are therefore not solely reliant on the expanded airport and therefore should not be shown as an exclusive benefit in the JAAP. Ivanna Goodhump
  • Score: 0

3:30pm Tue 23 Jun 09

DannyK86 says...

Ivanna Goodhump wrote:
Whether you are for or against the expansion one has to say that the actions (not words) of both, the Councils involved and Stobarts gives great weight to the thought that the JAAP consultation is a charade to placate the locals and that Stobarts have actually been given the nod on the quiet. It has also become apparent that only about 12% of the promised new jobs trumpeted in the JAAP will be airport/air industry related, the remainder will come from "other" unassociated industries/business supposedly filling the new industrial units around the expanded airport. Now as there is susbstantial numbers of vacant industrial premesis of all sizes currently within the towns boundaries, the Council should be working to attract these business's anyway. These alleged "new" jobs are therefore not solely reliant on the expanded airport and therefore should not be shown as an exclusive benefit in the JAAP.
Existing industrial and office accommodation in Southend is outdated and ill-suited to the needs of modern business. A nice modern office park next to the airport housing airport-related businesses (freight forwarders, tour companies, catering suppliers)wouldn't go amiss.
[quote][p][bold]Ivanna Goodhump[/bold] wrote: Whether you are for or against the expansion one has to say that the actions (not words) of both, the Councils involved and Stobarts gives great weight to the thought that the JAAP consultation is a charade to placate the locals and that Stobarts have actually been given the nod on the quiet. It has also become apparent that only about 12% of the promised new jobs trumpeted in the JAAP will be airport/air industry related, the remainder will come from "other" unassociated industries/business supposedly filling the new industrial units around the expanded airport. Now as there is susbstantial numbers of vacant industrial premesis of all sizes currently within the towns boundaries, the Council should be working to attract these business's anyway. These alleged "new" jobs are therefore not solely reliant on the expanded airport and therefore should not be shown as an exclusive benefit in the JAAP. [/p][/quote]Existing industrial and office accommodation in Southend is outdated and ill-suited to the needs of modern business. A nice modern office park next to the airport housing airport-related businesses (freight forwarders, tour companies, catering suppliers)wouldn't go amiss. DannyK86
  • Score: 0

7:43pm Tue 23 Jun 09

SARFENDMAN says...

I know "God moves in mysterious ways" but on rollers? Mmmmm
Seems same old panic buttons being pressed as back in the late 1960's when a powerful lobby killed off that expansion. Let's keep a balanced argument and may common sense and reason prevail. The Airport needs to move on and forwards if it is to survive. The church is going nowhere. Misinformation is of no help to anyone.
I know "God moves in mysterious ways" but on rollers? Mmmmm Seems same old panic buttons being pressed as back in the late 1960's when a powerful lobby killed off that expansion. Let's keep a balanced argument and may common sense and reason prevail. The Airport needs to move on and forwards if it is to survive. The church is going nowhere. Misinformation is of no help to anyone. SARFENDMAN
  • Score: 0

7:43pm Tue 23 Jun 09

SARFENDMAN says...

I know "God moves in mysterious ways" but on rollers? Mmmmm
Seems same old panic buttons being pressed as back in the late 1960's when a powerful lobby killed off that expansion. Let's keep a balanced argument and may common sense and reason prevail. The Airport needs to move on and forwards if it is to survive. The church is going nowhere. Misinformation is of no help to anyone.
I know "God moves in mysterious ways" but on rollers? Mmmmm Seems same old panic buttons being pressed as back in the late 1960's when a powerful lobby killed off that expansion. Let's keep a balanced argument and may common sense and reason prevail. The Airport needs to move on and forwards if it is to survive. The church is going nowhere. Misinformation is of no help to anyone. SARFENDMAN
  • Score: 0

8:00pm Tue 23 Jun 09

firedog says...

All these people opposing the airport,
must take all their holidays locally.They dont use other airports with noisy planes,
do they?
All these people opposing the airport, must take all their holidays locally.They dont use other airports with noisy planes, do they? firedog
  • Score: 0

8:57pm Tue 23 Jun 09

southendreb says...

hang on guys here is another conspircy theory' Jaap seems to be a southend /rochford council wish list and bares little resemblence to reality bearing in mind the current climate ,so why do they keep mentioning it.
hang on guys here is another conspircy theory' Jaap seems to be a southend /rochford council wish list and bares little resemblence to reality bearing in mind the current climate ,so why do they keep mentioning it. southendreb
  • Score: 0

9:33pm Tue 23 Jun 09

ericslayer says...

A great shame all this business about the Church versus the airport resurrecting itself again.

Logical solution would be to straighten the road out from the corner by the barrier to the roundabout by Aviation Way giving a scaled down runway extension and entend the existing RESA (runway end safety area) further down the field towards the back of the RBS buildings or better still build the road across the runway and control it with sliding barriers which close the road off completely like some military airbases in Switzerland have.

The airport will never be busy like it was in the 1960s due to current world recession even with a scaled down runway extension and perhaps would only attract a few charter flights a week during the summer season.

It is very difficult job to attract any airline to start scheduled passenger flights from the airport even those operating the smaller jet airliners such as the RJ.85 and RJ.100s which often divert to Southend from London City.
A great shame all this business about the Church versus the airport resurrecting itself again. Logical solution would be to straighten the road out from the corner by the barrier to the roundabout by Aviation Way giving a scaled down runway extension and entend the existing RESA (runway end safety area) further down the field towards the back of the RBS buildings or better still build the road across the runway and control it with sliding barriers which close the road off completely like some military airbases in Switzerland have. The airport will never be busy like it was in the 1960s due to current world recession even with a scaled down runway extension and perhaps would only attract a few charter flights a week during the summer season. It is very difficult job to attract any airline to start scheduled passenger flights from the airport even those operating the smaller jet airliners such as the RJ.85 and RJ.100s which often divert to Southend from London City. ericslayer
  • Score: 0

10:49pm Tue 23 Jun 09

perini says...

Just knock the church down and extend the runway so the airport becomes a viable proposition. Graves? If there are any living relatives who object - their loved ones are 6 foot under remember - give them the opportunity to have them reburied on their own premises.
Just knock the church down and extend the runway so the airport becomes a viable proposition. Graves? If there are any living relatives who object - their loved ones are 6 foot under remember - give them the opportunity to have them reburied on their own premises. perini
  • Score: 0

12:55am Wed 24 Jun 09

Time says...

Im pro airport, and when the diggers start rolling and the protesters start moaning, I will be there hurting, those who are moaning.

Stop moaning and get with the times!
Im pro airport, and when the diggers start rolling and the protesters start moaning, I will be there hurting, those who are moaning. Stop moaning and get with the times! Time
  • Score: 0

8:28am Wed 24 Jun 09

ghostwriter says...

Why does the church need a wall nobody wants to get in and nobody is going to get out of the graveyard?
Why does the church need a wall nobody wants to get in and nobody is going to get out of the graveyard? ghostwriter
  • Score: 0

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