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French Connection

An engineering company that wants to build a 40 billion pound airport on sandbanks off Deal on the Kent coast has outlined its scheme - to a French audience. Beckett Rankine were invited to explain the proposal to business leaders in Calais.

Here, the scheme has been labelled as ludicrous by the local MP. But backers say it's the best option for a new hub airport for south-east England - and northern Europe.

Derek Johnson speaks to French business representatives Vincent Didry and Thaddee Segard, Hilary Newport from Protect Kent and Tim Beckett from marine consulting engineers Beckett Rankine.

Deal airport plans: media briefing

The firm behind proposals to build a Kent airport on the Goodwin Sands off the Deal coast have outlined their ideas to business leaders and the media in Calais.

Our Correspondent Derek Johnson has been following the morning's events and has been tweeting about people's reactions.

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Deal or No Deal: will airport plans take off?

More details of architects' proposals for a hub airport on the Goodwin Sands, six miles off Deal on the Kent Coast, are being revealed at a briefing in Calais today.

Beckett Rankine outline their proposals to the media Credit: Derek Johnson

The firm behind proposals to build a Kent airport on the Goodwin Sands off the Deal coast have outlined their ideas to business leaders and the media in Calais.

Maritime engineers Beckett Rankine say the £39 billion four-runway airport would benefit millions of people in northern France and become a hub for Northern Europe.

The plan - one of several being considered in an ongoing government review into airport capacity - is opposed by the local MP and environmentalists.

Appeal to find missing Gemma

Gemma Bates is from Deal but also has links to Sussex Credit: family photo

Kent Police is appealing for the public's help to trace a woman from Deal who was reported missing four days ago.

Gemma Louise Bates, 31 from Cottington Lakes, Sholden in Deal has been missing since 16th January 2013. Police are concerned for her welfare.

She also has links to the Sussex area and a car registered to her has been spotted in Brighton. She is described as white, 5ft 11ins tall, with shoulder length straight brown hair, and was wearing dark blue jeans, black fingerless gloves with a skull and cross bone pattern and a black weather coat.

She also has several visible tattoos including stars on her right wrist and a ring on her middle, left finger. Her car is a dark blue Ford KA, registration number GJ04 UFC.

  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Oh Yes We Can!

It was an annual tradition that began in the 1950s: the Royal Marines put on a pantomime at their barracks at Deal in Kent. But when they relocated to Portsmouth sixteen years ago, the Pantos stopped.

Now, former Marines still living in Deal have revived the idea - and "The Wizard Who's Odd" starts tonight. David Johns has been to see rehearsals and spoke to Wally Walters ("Royal Maureen"), Alan Upton ("Dorrity") and Brian Short (writer and director)

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  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Royal Marines tread the boards

An annual tradition that began in the 1950s where the Royal Marines put on a pantomime at their barracks in Deal in Kent has been revived.

When the unit relocated to Portsmouth fifteen years ago, the panto ended. But now, ex-Marines still living in Deal have re-launched the panto. David Johns has been speaking to Brian Short and Alan Upton.

Elderly man killed in road collision

A man in his seventies has died in a road collision in Deal. Kent Police were called to the incident at the junction of Victoria Road and Marine Road at 11.40 this morning. The man, who has not been named, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers have spoken to a number of witnesses but still want to contact the driver of a long wheelbase transit-type van that was amongst vehicles in the area at the time. Anyone with information is urged to call Kent Police on 01622 798538.

£10million sea defences begin

Work is to start this month on a £10million sea defence project along the Kent coast.

The project hopes to reduce the risk of tidal flooding to more than 1,500 homes and businesses in Deal.

The Environment Agency will put up a 200m long rock barrier north of Sandown Castle. The rock will be delivered to the castle by barge from Norway.

The ambitious scheme also hopes to protect the Thanet Coast and Sandwich Bay Special Protection Area and Ramsar Site, the Sandwich Bay Special Area of Conservation; the railway line between Ramsgate and Dover in addition to historic monuments and listed buildings in North Deal.

This is a big project that will make a big difference to Deal. It will make Deal safer for years to come, but also change the look of the seafront.

So, as works begin, do go and see the exhibition at the Royal Hotel to see what it will look like and the changes the works will bring."

– Charlie Elphicke, MP for Dover and Deal
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