London's Evening Standard newspaper has reported that major Boris Johnson's planning team has been accused of blocking a proposal to turn the retired HMS Ark Royal aircraft carrier into a floating heliport. They suggest that the consortium behind the bid should not claims that they have the full support of businesses and the Mayor for their plan to permanently moor the ship on the River Thames near London City Airport.
City Hall insiders are quoted saying that any proposal for a new heliport in London would be against the principles set out in the London Plan, the Mayor's vision for the capital which will be published this summer. Nick Tubbs, the developer behind the scheme, remains positive, saying "It is unquestionably possible for the London Plan to be rewritten sufficiently because this is an outstanding opportunity for London."
The disposal of Ark Royal has raised some amusement, given it is currently listed in the Tenders section of the UK government eDisposals.com site which says it is "In Stock" and you can click an "Add to Cart" button to buy it online. (see screen shot below). Other potential future uses include a multi-venue nightclub, apparently.
Jeremy Parkin, HeliHub.com
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