Environmental and air quality concerns over Gatwick Airport’s northern runway plans





Crawley Borough Council and nine other authorities have submitted a series of concerns to a government-appointed committee regarding Gatwick Airport’s northern runway plans.

The airport’s proposal to use the emergency runway for regular departure flights has only divided opinion across the region.

These proposals were accepted for review in August and are expected to be considered by the Examining Authority Panel (ExA) in early 2024.

At a meeting of the borough council’s planning committee it was agreed that any pending objections to the plans would be lodged. Plans could change if the airport addresses the concerns raised.

A spokesperson said: “Gatwick Airport is a huge economic asset for the town.

“We support our continued development as a one-runway, two-terminal airport and are delighted that Gatwick now has more long-haul routes to support Crawley’s economy and residents.

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“However, with respect to the airport’s north runway project, we are concerned about the uncertainties regarding future economic benefits to residents, the ability to operate the airport within acceptable and enforceable limits without adversely impacting the environment, and the risks of construction. impacts, air quality, traffic congestion and lack of proactive travel solutions.”

Members of ExA visited Gatwick and the surrounding area from October 10th to 12th to carry out inspections.

They covered locations such as Horley, Charlwood and Barstow conservation areas, as well as major roads such as the A23, Balcombe Road and the M23 branch.

If the £2.2bn proposal is approved, Gatwick Airport could start construction in 2025 and be completed and operational by the end of this decade, it said.

The nine other authorities that have issued a joint statement with Crawley are East Sussex County Council, Horsham County Council, Kent County Council, Mid Sussex County Council, Mole Valley District Council, Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, Surrey County Council and Tandridge District Council. Parliament, and West Sussex County Council.

They said: “All 10 councils have submitted their own relevant representations regarding the Gatwick Airport north runway project.

“These include a wide range of concerns and raise questions about whether airports can operate within permissible and enforceable limits without harming health or the environment.

“These include the need for appropriate noise limits, air quality concerns and the ability of transport networks to manage increased traffic volumes, including through sustainable travel options.

“Concerns also include the proper protection of cultural heritage and ecological assets and the need to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions at airports.

“Furthermore, the authority wants to ensure that the potential economic benefits arising from this project are secured for the area surrounding Gatwick Airport and that growth does not have a negative impact on jobs, housing or local services.”

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