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Layout 1A long-term plan that secures the future of Rochester Airport has been approved by Medway Council.

The Rochester Airport Masterplan includes proposals for 1,000 jobs with the creation of a new hub for science and technology firms and much-improved facilities in this key location.
The approval of the masterplan comes after a comprehensive public consultation.

First established in 1933, the Rochester Airport site is owned by Medway Council and has been leased since to an airport operator – Rochester Airport Limited.

Proposals involve replacing many of the existing buildings and facilities on the airport that are now reaching the end of their useful life and a reconfiguration of the existing runways.

One of the grass runways on site will be closed and replaced with a new parallel grass and paved runway. The paved runway will allow a small aircraft to take off and climb to a higher altitude very quickly, reducing the impact of noise on surrounding homes.

The grass runway will allow the nationally recognised Medway Aircraft Preservation Society (MAPS) to continue to use the site for heritage aircraft and open days.

The new runway layout will allow 29 acres near to Rochester Airport Industrial Estate to be developed as a new hub for science or technology related firms – with the potential to eventually create up to 1,000 new skilled jobs.

There are no plans to develop Rochester Airport into a commercial airport.

Cllr Alan Jarrett, Deputy Leader of Medway Council and Portfolio Holder for Finance, said: “Rochester Airport is an important asset for Medway and securing its future will help contribute to the regeneration and economic development of Medway.

“We want to ensure the future of the airport by maximising its potential for jobs and tourism and that’s what the masterplan does.

“The potential for new jobs here is just one of many benefits this masterplan brings.”

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Residents and businesses are being reminded that they have until September 20th to comment on the plans for the future of Rochester Airport. The draft proposals could create 1,000 new jobs and improve facilities that would increase the airport’s heritage tourism potential. More

An NHS worker, who falsely claimed nearly £3,500 in benefits, has appeared in court and been fined by magistrates.

Miss K D, of Rainham Road, Chatham, appeared before Medway Magistrates Court on Monday, 17 June where she pleaded guilty to failing to notify the Department for Work and Pensions that her circumstances had changed because she’d started work.

Miss D also pleaded guilty to making false claims for Jobseekers Allowance, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit by failing to declare she was working. Miss Daniel worked in the NHS flexibank.

Between February and September 2012, Miss D claimed £1,056.10 in housing benefit, £670.48 in council tax benefit and £1,761.71 in job seekers allowance, totalling £3,487.71. The investigation was carried out by officers from the Department for Work and Pensions and Medway Council. Miss D was fined £300 by magistrates.

In addition to prosecuting the claimant, Medway Council and the DWP will seek to recover the overpaid benefit. Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Finance Cllr Alan Jarrett said: “This case sends out a strong message to all benefits claimants that we will prosecute those who abuse the system. We will also seek to reclaim any money that has been falsely claimed. “This was a good example of government and council agencies working together to ensure people don’t claim benefits they’re not entitled to. “This case shows the importance of reporting changes in circumstances promptly to avoid large overpayments and the possibility of a criminal conviction.”

A new way of working with care providers, which has seen service improvement and a £1.9 million saving, has been approved by Medway Council’s Cabinet.

The approach used to award new suppliers for the council’s homecare and extra care services for adult social care clients was a pilot of the new Category Management approach to procurement. More

Longleat Maze: Jason Hawkes

Ever wanted to see Britain’s most beautiful landscapes and heritage sites from the air? Take a trip to Chatham town centre this spring and see more than 80 stunning large-scale images, taken from all around the country by Britain’s foremost aerial photographers. More

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