KEEP IT: Jed Griffiths
Jed Griffiths, a Plymothian and former president of the Royal Town Planning Institute, urges the city to keep its airport.
PLYMOUTH is at a crossroads in its history.
When I began my planning career at Plymouth City Council in the late 1960s there was so much optimism about the future of the city and its place in the regional and national economy.
In more recent times it has been marginalised, not only because of the economic downturn, but also because of a fixation by the Government on London and the South East.
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The abandonment of regional planning by the coalition has meant that the role of regional airports has been minimalised in the national airports debate, which is concentrated on London.
I agree with Cllr Tudor Evans that the provision of an airport in Plymouth is a strategic planning issue.
In my view it is vital to the future economy of the city.
With the proposals put forward by the Viable group, with an extended runway, there would be enhanced linkages between Plymouth and London, the rest of the UK, and – more importantly – European destinations.
If Viable is successful their development could deliver the policy set out in the council's core strategy and help to maintain and strengthen Plymouth's place in the South West economy.
In a tough economic climate, Plymouth must fight its corner vigorously.
If the airport is removed, it is gone for ever – and with it a building block for the city's regeneration.