County council decision on second runway at Gatwick disappoints Sussex MPs

JPCT-18-11-11 S11470158a Francis Maude  Mortgage Solutions -photo by steve cobb
JPCT-18-11-11 S11470158a Francis Maude Mortgage Solutions -photo by steve cobb

The decision by West Sussex County Council to ‘in principle’ support a second runway at Gatwick Airport has disappointed Sussex MPs.

The local authority took the decision today (Friday July 19) on the same day that Gatwick made its submission to the Airports Commission, which is believed to include plans for a second runway.

It will make plans public on Tuesday.

Mid Sussex MP Nicholas Soames is believed to be uttterly opposed to a second runway, and sources say he is likely to fight proposals.

Francis Maude, MP for Horsham as well as Government minister for the cabinet office, said: “I have always supported the expansion of Gatwick as a single runway airport, just like West Sussex County Council but not a second runway.

“So I’m surprised and disappointed at what seems to be a sudden volte-face by the county.

“Of course we’re right to be concerned for economic development and jobs; but local residents will need a lot of persuading that these benefits will not exert an unacceptable environmental price.”