SECOND RUNWAY: Gatwick site too cramped, says campaign group

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The chair of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) says those calling for a second runway at Gatwick ‘have never looked at a map’.

GACC has submitted a document to the Airports Commission this week called Gatwick Unzipped which it believes supports its claim that the airport site is too cramped to accommodate an additional runway.

“Many of those who call for another runway at Gatwick have never looked at a map,” said Brendon Sewill.

“The fact is that Gatwick is a small cramped site with not enough space for an efficient new runway.

“When examined carefully the Gatwick runway plans are not nearly as good as they seem at first sight.”

Some of the main points made in the GACC analysis include the suggestion ‘the so-called ‘wide-spaced runway’ is too close to the existing runway’; the plans for new runways at Heathrow, Stansted or in the Thames Estuary all show a wider separation between the runways; and the length of the new runway would be constrained by the main London-Brighton railway line to the east and by high ground to the west.

Noise is also listed as another significant concern with Mr Sewill commenting: “Gatwick airport are incorrect in claiming that a major advantage of Gatwick over Heathrow is that comparatively few people would be affected by noise because the Gatwick approach and take-off paths would be mainly over rural areas.

“Noise tends to cause more annoyance in rural areas because the background noise is lower.”

Responding to the document which is available to read at www.gacc.org.uk, a spokesperson for Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) said: “A second runway at Gatwick is the most affordable, sustainable and deliverable solution for London and the UK.

“Development at Gatwick would have significantly less impact than other proposals submitted to the Airports Commission and deliver around 19,000 new jobs and a significant economic boost to the local region.

“For these reasons, we are gaining increasing support for expansion from key local councils, businesses and community groups.”

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