Gatwick second runway: Groups mull over Airport’s announcement

JPCT 17-10-12 S12421053X Gatwick. Jet. -photo by steve cobb
JPCT 17-10-12 S12421053X Gatwick. Jet. -photo by steve cobb

A parish council near Gatwick has reaffirmed its total opposition to a second runway at the airport, while the local enterprise partnership has supported yesterday’s announcement.

Yesterday the owners of Gatwick Airport said they would have a detailed look at the case for a second runway for after 2019, when the legal agreement precluding expansion expires.

Charlwood Parish Council, which sits west of the airport, has highlighted the negative effect a second runway would have on their village, but Coast to Capital, the LEP covering West Sussex, has welcomed the announcement.

After a row over the future of a third runway at Heathrow Airport, the Government announced that Sir Howard Davies would chair an independent commission tasked with identifying and recommending future aviation options in early September.

A spokesperson for Charlwood Parish Council said: “The parish council have always been totally opposed to a new runway on environmental grounds. The substantial negative effect it would have on this village, even in its suggested location to the south of the existing runway, dictates that it should not be entertained.”

“The question of a second runway is not new and comprehensive surveys in the past (1953, 1970, 1993 and 2003) have all shown it doesn’t work.

“Additional noise, air pollution, weakened infrastructure, road traffic, demands on local services are all sound reasons why its not a viable project. “Geographically the proposed site suffers from a rail line at one end and a shallow hill at the other thus offering only a short runway close the existing runway with resulting inefficiencies in its operation and therefore its economic value.

“Charlwood Parish Council are disappointed that GAL has inflicted further blight on the local area. GAL have in the past indicated (in 2010 and July 2012) that they had no interest in a second runway at Gatwick.

“Commercial pressures appear to abound and since GAL have said they wish to sell Gatwick in around 2018, they obviously wish to keep the price up by keeping the runway issue open.

“The parish council has the support of Surrey County Council and Mole Valley District Council in their opposition to a second Gatwick runway and if serious attempts were made to proceed with the idea the Parish Council would be at the forefront of the campaign to resist it.”

Meanwhile Coast to Capital, the LEP covering West Sussex, said it supported the announcement from Gatwick Airport to develop options for a new runway.

It believes that the development of the airport would be well placed to serve the exporting businesses throughout the region, and the future need of new exporters and employers.

For more on the story see today’s County Times.