Gatwick Airport has launched their consultation on plans to bring the standby/emergency runway, just north of the main runway, into routine use for departing aircraft.
The size of the proposal is such - taking annual passenger numbers to 76 million and aircraft movements to 386,000 - it is classed as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project and Gatwick have to apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to build and operate the altered runway.
The current consultation is the only opportunity for the public to have a direct say on Gatwick’s expansion plans and residents of Charlwood and Hookwood are being urged to send in their objections to demonstrate the strength of feeling against this project. The deadline for submissions is 1st December 2021.
** Latest: The Parish Council's submission can be viewed below **
If approved Gatwick’s expansion would mean:
- over 70% more passengers using Gatwick
- over 35% more flights
- 50% more CO2 emissions from the airport, with Gatwick alone being responsible for over 5.5% of total UK emissions by 2038
- more noise near the airport and under flight paths
- more congestion on strategic road and rail links to the airport and on local roads
- five years of intensive construction activity around the airport.
The Parish Council has a Gatwick Working Group which will meet in November to draw up the formal response to the consultation. Any residents wishing to join the Working Group should contact the Clerk at email@example.com.
The consultation documents and response options can be viewed here: https://www.gatwickairport.com/business-community/future-plans/northern-runway/documents/. In addition the documentation is contained on a USB stick which can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, several ring binders are on display in St Nicholas Church and are available for the public to view between 10am-4pm Monday-Saturday. A public meeting will be held, probably in mid-November, and the Gatwick authorities will be invited to attend.
As usual the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) is leading the fight to prevent Gatwick expansion and highlight the key issues which are sometimes hidden among the wealth of detail.
To help residents register their opposition, GACC has produced a summary response and a more detailed response to the questions asked in the consultation and they are contained in the links below. There is also a short summary response to the consultation as a whole for those who don’t have time to reply to the questions individually and it can be obtained by clicking here
These responses will continue to be updated as more information is obtained. Residents can use this information in their responses but are recommended to put it into their own words. It is also possible to avoid the questionnaire and email your opposition to email@example.com with your own explanation.
If Gatwick are successful, the result will be devastating. More noise, more air pollution and even greater pressure on the already overstretched road and rail infrastructure. Critically, the expansion could add another one or two million tonnes of CO2 per year - nonsensical at a time when the impacts of global warming are becoming all too evident.
After the consultation, Gatwick will apply to the Planning Inspectorate for a DCO. That process will take at least a year. Only people who have registered their interest would be able to submit any further comments at that stage.