Mole Valley MP Sir Paul Beresford joins the battle over aircraft noise
MOLE VALLEY’S MP has joined the battle against aircraft noise over the south of the district.Sir Paul Beresford is working with Reigate’s MP Crispin Blunt to fight against changes made to the routes planes use to fly from Gatwick.As reported in the Advertiser last week, documents released as part of the airport’s ongoing airspace consultation reveal one of the departure routes was changed in November last year.According to the document, the route had too tight a turn for modern aircraft and planes were increasingly straying further north.
[When Gatwick refers to RWY26 – meaning runway 26 – they mean the single runway used for take-offs towards the west. ie. 280 degrees from north. When they refer to RWY08 they mean the runway used for take offs to the east. ie. 80 degrees from north. AW note].
As a result, the official route was changed at the end of last year to allow for a wider turn, meaning 7,200 people who were previously unaffected are now under the flight path – including communities in Leigh, the Holmwoods, Brockham, Capel, Betchworth and Beare Green.
Sir Paul told the Advertiser: “It’s quite a disaster.
“People who bought houses under the previous flight path knew what they were buying. People who have bought under the new flight path did not know.
“The value of their properties will go down and the whole thing is totally unacceptable.
“I have looked with an expert at the proposed changes.
“It is incredibly difficult to understand and the nature of the consultation is such that most people will not respond because they don’t understand.”
He added: “There is a horrible suspicion in my mind which is that it could be related to the prospect of Gatwick having a second runway, which I am absolutely opposed to.
“They say they’re going to create thousands more jobs but the other weekend they couldn’t get people to move baggage.
“They are actually bussing people in from the South Coast to do jobs, so what this would really mean is more houses between Gatwick and Dorking.
“The end result will be a half-hub at Gatwick and a half-hub at Heathrow with a parking lot in between called the M25.”
Brockham resident Caroline Horn said: “We moved to Brockham two years ago and enjoyed a very peaceful existence until earlier this year.
“We used to live very close to Heathrow Airport, so not hearing planes all the time in our new home was a blessing and one of the reasons we moved.
“Now, however, I hear planes overhead at 3am, 4am, 5am and onwards.
“It’s particularly busy during the mornings and evenings, but even during the day they fly over every five to ten minutes.”
A consultation on changing flight paths for planes in and out of the airport, ended yesterday (Saturday, August 16).