Majority (56%) of Horley residents against 2nd Gatwick runway – only 43% in favour
Horley Town Council commissioned a survey, of over 1,000 people, and has formally opposed a 2nd Gatwick runway. Horley Town Council is required to give an official response to the Airports Commission on the runway plans, and conducted the study to help shape their view. Of the 1,096 respondents, 34% were in favour of a new runway, while 56% were against, and 10% were not sure. The most common reason residents gave against expansion was increased noise, and the next more common reason was concerns about traffic and road congestion. Reasons for the runway to be approved include “enhanced local prosperity, especially for Horley”, followed by “new jobs created, plus job security”. The 10% who were unsure wanted more details about roads, traffic and parking impact. Despite councillors’ pleas for more people between the ages of 15-25 to take part in the Horley survey, only 15 respondents did so. A full council meeting agreed to oppose a runway. But if a Gatwick runway was got Commission approval, the council would strive to get “the best possible outcome for local residents with particular regard to infrastructure”.
Survey finds Horley residents are against Gatwick’s potential second runway
November 23, 2014 (Surrey Mirror)
By Joshua Searle
THE majority of Horley residents are against expansion at Gatwick, according to a new survey.
Following the findings, Horley Town Council – which commissioned the survey – has formally opposed any proposed expansion at the airport.
The survey quizzed more than 1,000 people on their views.
Proposals for expansion at Gatwick are currently being considered by Sir Howard Davies’ Airport Commission, as one option to maximise airport capacity in the South East.
Horley Town Council is required to give an official response to the plans and conducted the study to help shape a view.
Out of the 1,096 respondents, 368 (34 per cent) were in favour of a second runway, while 615 (56 per cent) were against, and 113 (10 per cent) were not sure.
The most common reason residents gave against expansion was “Gatwick second runway will increase noise levels”, followed by concerns over traffic and road congestion.
One respondent said: “Noise pollution has already increased since flight paths were changed last year.
“[A new runway] will increase [it] even further, given that there will be more flights (including more helicopters and night flights), traffic and ground noise.”
Reasons for the runway to be approved include “enhanced local prosperity, especially for Horley”, followed by “new jobs created, plus job security”.
One comment, included in data released by the council, said: “RW2 [Gatwick’s proposed second runway] is the key to Horley’s future economic vitality.”
The ten percent of respondents who claimed to be unsure about the expansion asked for more details about roads, traffic and parking impact.
Horley Town Council vice chairman Councillor Mike George told the Mirror: “The survey was a useful exercise and the first time we have done it on this scale to my memory.
“It was not a clear majority one way or another, you wouldn’t say it was overwhelming. The for [side] put forward some good comments and so did the against.
“There are strong arguments on both sides and I think going forward we have to respect that. If nothing else we have now heard the arguments.”
Cllr George also noted that the respondents who said they were unsure would be useful in the future to help show Gatwick bosses what concerns the public have. Despite councillors’ pleas in this newspaper for more people between the ages of 15-25 to contribute, the council only received 15 respondents in this category.
After receiving the report, councillors agreed at a full council meeting last Tuesday to endorse the majority view of residents who are against expansion, but noted that should the Davies Commission select Gatwick then the council would “strive to achieve the best possible outcome for local residents with particular regard to infrastructure”.