Gatwick airport is asking people who live in Crowborough, and across Sussex for their views about the building of a second runway.
On Thursday 17th April they’ll be a exhibition at Crowborough Community Centre from 4 – 7.30pm, when residents can find-out more information and express their views.
The new runway would be parallel to the existing runway. There are three options, which differ on how far south the new runway will away from the existing one, whether both runways will be used for take off and landing and whether a new terminal will be built.
The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) work to try and reduce noise and air pollution. They argue that with larger aircraft and unused capacity at Stansted, there is no need for a second runway in the south east.
GACC has published maps on their website showing the possible positions of new flight paths if a new runway were to be built:
Among those people who have contacted GACC is Caroline Tayler from Nutley, she says:
The right to the quiet enjoyment of the Sussex countryside by visitors and local people is now at risk. The Ashdown Forest, for example, already suffers from intrusive noise from Gatwick arrivals and it would be a tragedy if this was to double. Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are protected for future generations so that all can benefit from quiet enjoyment of the countryside. Ashdown Forest is an area that would suffer greatly from the doubling of aircraft noise.
Last year the Conservators of the Ashdown Forest expressed their concern when flight paths were changed. In response to the consultation, Pat Buesnel, Director, told them:
One of the challenges we face in conserving the heathland of the Forest is nitrogen deposition, which gives a competitive advantage to the invasive species – such as bracken, gorse and birch – which we spend so much of our time attempting to control. We would be interested to hear if the likely effects of the proposed changes on atmospheric nitrogen levels have been considered.
Gatwick has already committed to offering compensation to households near the airport likely to be most affected if the go-ahead is given for a second runway.
More than 4,100 homes are expected to qualify for annual compensation equivalent to Band A Council Tax (currently £1,000). Hundreds more will be eligible for a contribution of up to £3,000 towards the cost of sound insulation.
Gatwick says it recognises that its local communities will have many questions about what a second runway at Gatwick would mean for them, and is inviting them to participate in a six week public consultation ending on 16th May.
Gatwick are proposing three options:
Option 1 is a new runway 585m south of the existing runway.
Option 2 is a new runway 1,045m south of the existing runway, with one runway used for landings and the other used for take-offs.
Option 3 (Gatwick’s preferred option) is similar in layout to Option 2 but both runways would be used for landings and take-offs.
Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive of London Gatwick, said:
The views of the local community are an essential element in shaping Gatwick’s second runway options. Therefore it is important we hear from as many people as possible through our consultation so that we can consider local opinions fully in our refined runway proposals.
The consultation findings will be published by Ipsos MORI in an independent report by this summer.
Gatwick will provide the Airports Commission with the results of this consultation and any resulting option developments so that there may be an opportunity for them to be taken into account by the Commission before it reports to the Government in the summer of 2015.