LETTER: Business award an insult to residents

Your letters
Your letters

We are simply horrified that you have awarded, in Sussex Women in Business, a member of the Gatwick team an award for ‘Contribution to the Community’.

It is a major insult to residents of Sussex that such an award has been presented to Head of Community Engagement, Hannah Staunton, at Gatwick.

May we point out that their engagement has been to produce a glossy newsletter that mentions nothing of the misery residents of Sussex, Surrey and Kent are suffering at the hands of Gatwick.

No mention of the introduction of concentrated flight paths on all departure routes in May 2014. Nor the fact that arrivals have been moved to concentrate over people’s homes leading to sleep deprivation and loss of quality of life for families who moved to rural areas to be away from noise. It did offer a free coffee if you supported a second runway at Gatwick!

Gatwick have now met with parish councils, parish councils wanting to discuss lack of housing already, the terrible state of the roads - pot holes, congestion - waiting lists for schools now, and why they prefer Heathrow check-in and VIP lounges to Gatwick, etc, etc, whilst the management just wanted to talk second runway.

The parish council exercise may have been a ‘tick box’ to convince MPs, councillors, and the Airports Commission, but very few residents would agree that anyone at Gatwick should receive an award for working with the communities especially in West and East Sussex.

Although we congratulate Gatwick on working with Chestnut Tree hospice for children, may we point out that Chestnut Tree is located far away from Gatwick and thus is not impacted by low flying flights day and night seven days a week, which is fortunate as constant aircraft noise has been medically proven to have a particular impact on children.

What about the lack of hospital and hospice beds now, and this is all before a second runway? What about the pollution from feeder roads because the road system cannot deal with the current levels of vehicles and this is before a second runway? But as Gatwick says ‘onward surface access’ is not their problem.

Gatwick may be ‘engaging’ now but only because residents from Sussex, Surrey and Kent have forced Gatwick management to engage, but they still ignore our concerns when it comes to a second runway as they simply target the Heathrow misery and ignore what a second runway would do to us.

You only have to watch the film launched recently by residents, and local business people, which simply tells of their fears, what a second runway at Gatwick would really do and what it will do to their home life and the blight it would have on West Sussex. Film can be seen at - https://vimeo.com/144304640

If Gatwick really wanted to engage with local communities they would drop their campaign targeting Heathrow and realise that residents have had enough of flight paths now so they will never tolerate 560,000 planes a year above their homes.

SALLY PAVEY

Chair of CAGNE, Mayes Lane, Warnham

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