Gatwick hoping its “pledge” of £46.5 million if it gets 2nd runway will go towards a new Crawley hospital
The local Crawley press reports that Gatwick airport has said they will provide money to contribute towards the cost of a new hospital serving Crawley if they are allowed to build a 2nd runway. This is not a new offer – it was in their list of “pledges” put out in July 2014. However, last week Crawley Borough Council announced that it will tell the Airports Commission a new hospital for Crawley and Horsham must be built if Gatwick is expanded. Members of the council’s overview and scrutiny commission debated a report by council officers that the Commission had “significantly underestimated” what healthcare needs would be created by expansion. Gatwick has said it would provide a £46.5 million fund for community infrastructure projects if there is a new runway. (There is doubt whether a future owner of Gatwick would be legally held to any pledges made now by GIP). Gatwick says it would provide just £5,000 per new house needed, and it estimates that number to be 9,300. ie. £46.5 million. But that would have to cover all areas, down to the coast, not only Crawley. Other figures of the cost of building a hospital put the cost at around £330 – £430 million. Local hospital facilities in the area are already under pressure.
Gatwick Airport would help pay for new hospital for Crawley if allowed to build a second runway
24.1.2015 (Crawley News)
By Chris Ballinger
GATWICK Airport bosses have said a pot of money is available to help contribute towards the cost of a new hospital serving Crawley if they are allowed to build a second runway. [This was first publicised by Gatwick in July 2014].
Last week Crawley Borough Council announced that it will tell the Airports Commission a new hospital for Crawley and Horsham must be built if Gatwick is expanded.
Members of the council’s overview and scrutiny commission debated a report by council officers which stated that the Commission – which will advise the Government on where a new runway should be built – had “significantly underestimated” what healthcare needs would be created by expansion.
Gatwick Airport has pledged a £46.5 million fund for community infrastructure projects if it is selected to get a new runway. [A pledge, not legally binding. Remember the recent statement by current Heathrow management, commenting on promises by an earlier Heathrow Chairman, Sir John Egan, that there would not be a 3rd runway. Mr Holland-Kaye said the people who made those statements were not in a position to make those promises. So much for this sort of pledge ….].
And the airport confirmed to the Crawley News this week that part of that money could go towards building a new hospital.
Local GP Dr Howard Bloom, who is also a borough councillor for Pound Hill South and Worth, said: “When it comes to health provision Crawley is one of the few towns of this size that doesn’t have its own dedicated general hospital.
“We rely heavily on East Surrey Hospital and if we head towards an increase in population due to airport expansion I think a new general hospital would be needed. This would have to include A&E and maternity services, with consultants, specialists and clinical staff.
“At the moment East Surrey is coping but how much more could the hospital deal with?”
Dr Amit Bhargava, chief clinical officer for Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group, said that over the next five years the focus is on bringing more services back to Crawley Hospital and refurbishing the site.
However, he added that options remain open beyond that if Gatwick does expand.
Henry Smith, Crawley’s MP, has called for Gatwick to help urgently draw up detailed plans of what infrastructure changes would happen in Crawley if a second runway is allowed.
He said: “A brand new area hospital for Crawley would be an absolute must.
“A second runway at Gatwick Airport would be transformational for the town in terms of the amount of housing needed and new workers coming here to live and on a daily basis.
“This is a red line issue for me. There is no getting around it.”
He added: “When the government makes its decision I imagine the airport selected will want to move pretty quickly so if it is to be Gatwick we need to know exactly what will happen.”
While offering their support towards a new hospital, Gatwick bosses have stressed the need for extra infrastructure would be spread between south London and the south coast, not just focused on Crawley.
A Gatwick Airport spokesman said: “Gatwick has pledged £46.5 million to deliver essential community infrastructure, such as hospitals and schools.
“That’s £5,000 towards the infrastructure costs for each new house built because of airport expansion, which is on top of the funds the government would provide towards infrastructure costs for every new house.
“Hospital funds are typically paid for by the government and we believe Gatwick’s contribution is a first in relation to a privately-funded major infrastructure project.”
The spokesman added that the estimated 9,300 new homes that would be needed would be spread over a “wide area and not just in localities close to the airport”. [Other estimates, including by West Sussex County Council, put the possible number of new homes at 30,000 to 40,000. Very far above 9,300. The Airports Commission estimates 18,400 homes might be needed].
He said: “New homes would be built in a dozen or so local authority areas, including as far away from Crawley as Lewisham and Arun, and over 20 to 30 years.
“More people will come to live locally because of airport expansion, but these numbers will be regulated by other factors.
“For example, rail capacity at Gatwick is set to nearly treble by 2035 and many workers would commute from outside the local area, including deprived areas in south London and the south coast.”
This is what the Gatwick Airport document “Our pledges to the local community” (July 2014) says:
HOUSING AND INFRASTRUCTURE
£46.5m to help local authorities deliver essential community infrastructure
From our engagement with local authorities, and responses to our consultation, it was clear that local people wanted to know more about the numbers of homes a Gatwick second runway would create and how existing infrastructure like schools and hospitals would cope with further local development. Gatwick has responded to these views by creating a new housing and infrastructure pledge:
• A second runway is expected to create the demand for 9,300 new homes. To support these new homes and existing local communities, Gatwick will provide funds to local authorities to help them deliver a range of local infrastructure improvements
• The £46.5 million scheme will provide local authorities with £5,000 per new house built to help fund local infrastructure improvements
• The infrastructure improvements will depend on the needs of each local area but will contribute towards investments in local community facilities.
This was first publicised by Gatwick airport in July 2014
The Gatwick press release about its pledges, in July 2014, stated:
Gatwick unveils comprehensive local community pledges for expansion plans and challenges Heathrow to match them
- New report unveils how Gatwick will ‘Connect Britain to the Future. Faster’ along with a series of new local schemes unmatched by Heathrow
- Following public consultation, Gatwick pledges new funds for local jobs, housing & infrastructure, and increased support for residents & businesses
- Local pledges are in addition to the UK-wide £90bn economic boost and around 120,000 jobs a Gatwick second runway would deliver
Gatwick Airport has announced a comprehensive series of new pledges to ensure local communities directly benefit from the huge economic boosts a second runway would deliver to the UK. Gatwick has challenged Heathrow to match the local pledges, many of which do not currently feature in Heathrow’s own expansion plans.
The pledges form part of a new document released by Gatwick Airport today – Connecting Britain to the Future. Faster– which summarises Gatwick’s compelling case for a second runway. The document outlines how Gatwick expansion could be delivered quicker, to more global destinations, and with greater economic benefits including around 120,000 jobs and a £90bn boost to the UK.
In addition to the UK-wide benefits, the document unveils a series of new pledges to help minimise the impacts and maximise the benefits for local communities. The local pledges follow Gatwick’s public consultation held throughout April and May and have been designed to address the areas that matter most to the local community, including jobs, housing, noise and transport. The pledges include:
- £46.5m to help local authorities deliver essential community infrastructure
- A £3.75m fund to help create 2,500 new apprenticeships for local people
- A series of noise initiatives including £45m for Gatwick’s unique council tax initiative and £5m for noise insulation measures
- Improvements to local transport links and a commitment to ensure local roads are no busier than they are today, with a £10m local highway development fund in place to meet any additional works
- For the small number of homes that would need to be compulsorily purchased, a £131m Property Support Bond will offer homeowners 25% above market value, significantly above statutory requirements
- A new Engagement Charter to help local landowners & businesses affected by Gatwick expansion
Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate said: “A second runway would create a £90billion boost to the UK. We are determined to be a good neighbour and not lose sight of the concerns of those communities close to home.
“We’ve listened to local people and have created a wide range of pledges to deliver improvements in many of the areas that matter to them most, from new jobs and housing, to business support and noise mitigation.
“These pledges will help Gatwick deliver on its promises to the local community and we challenge Heathrow to match our comprehensive local commitments in their own expansion plans.”
The series of new local pledges announced today are made up of:
HOUSING AND INFRASTRUCTURE PLEDGE
£46.5m to help local authorities deliver essential community infrastructure
Public consultation showed that local people wanted to know more about the numbers of new homes a second runway at Gatwick would create and how existing infrastructure such as schools and hospitals would cope with further development. Gatwick has responded by creating a new housing and infrastructure pledge:
- A second runway is expected to support up to 9,300 new homes; to support the new homes and existing local communities, Gatwick will provide funds to local authorities to help them deliver a range of local infrastructure improvements
- The £46.5m scheme will provide local authorities with £5,000 per new house built to help fund local infrastructure improvements
- The infrastructure improvements will depend on the needs of each local area but will contribute towards investment in local community facilities
- Gatwick will consult with local authorities to create and deliver the scheme
JOBS & APPRENTICESHIP PLEDGE
A £3.75m fund to help create 2,500 new apprenticeships for local young people
Public consultation highlighted concerns that new jobs created by Gatwick expansion would not directly benefit the local area. Gatwick has responded to this by creating a Jobs & Apprenticeship pledge:
- Gatwick expansion will create around 120,000 jobs. To ensure local young people directly benefit from the new jobs being created, Gatwick will establish a new £3.75m apprenticeship fund
- The fund will help airport employers and local companies create 2,500 new job opportunities for local young people – a grant of £1,500 will be given to cover the start-up costs of each new apprenticeship created
- Successful students will be selected from across the South-East region – with a range of possible apprenticeships, not only in airport-related jobs or industries
- Gatwick will partner and consult with airport employers, local councils and key colleges to create and deliver the scheme
Increased compensation funds for those homeowners most affected by expansion
Some residential properties would need to be purchased to provide space for an expanded Gatwick (though considerably less homes than in Heathrow’s plans). A series of funds will be set-up to ensure these homeowners receive fair compensation over and above statutory requirements:
- For those homes that need to be compulsorily purchased, a Property Market Support Bond fund of £131m will offer owners 25% above market value for their properties
- These payments are significantly above what Gatwick is statutorily required to offer home-owners –compensation is typically offered at a minimum of 10% above market rates
- In addition, there is a £14m Home Owners Support Scheme to buy any homes that would be subject to high levels of aircraft noise – above a set noise level – under the new plans
BUSINESSES AND LOCAL LANDOWNER PLEDGE
New Engagement Charter & dedicated team to help landowners & businesses
While the expansion of Gatwick would create many thousands of local jobs and business opportunities, existing local landowners and businesses want to know more about how they will be affected. Gatwick will create a new Engagement Charter and a dedicated team to help local landowners and businesses:
- The new Engagement Charter sets out how Gatwick will engage, support and compensate affected businesses and landowners
- Measures include setting up a dedicated helpline, website and newsletter to keep local businesses up-to-date, as well as assigning a team of Case Managers to work directly with affected landowners and businesses
- For those properties which Gatwick needs to purchase, Gatwick will engage with all parties as early as possible to reach agreement on the purchase
- Gatwick will then continue to support and work with each party to agree compensation measures at an early stage and to help facilitate their replacement property search wherever possible.
NOISE MITIGATION PLEDGE
Unique initiatives form an industry leading approach to noise
Local people understandably raised the issue of noise created by a second runway and the impact it would have on their property. To address these concerns, Gatwick will continue its industry-leading approach to noise mitigation with a range of initiatives:
- Gatwick’s unique Council Tax Initiative (announced earlier this year) would see those homes most affected by noise from a second runway receiving annual compensation equivalent to Band A Council Tax (currently £1,000) if and when the runway becomes operational. Heathrow offers no similar scheme
- Gatwick has already significantly expanded its noise insulation scheme which is unmatched by Heathrow and is the most innovative of any airport in Europe
- The expanded scheme increases Gatwick’s noise boundary by 15km each end of the runway, ensuring over 40% more homes are protected from noise than before
- The scheme provides hundreds more local homes with up to £3,000 towards double glazing and loft insulation
Gatwick will be “road and rail ready” for a second runway by 2021
Public consultation highlighted questions around how local roads and rail links would cope with the additional traffic created by an expanded airport. A series of transformational public transport improvements have already been committed to by Government, Thameslink and others. Gatwick has responded by setting out a series of promises and targets to improve local transport and mitigate congestion:
- The airport will ensure local road networks will be no more congested than they are today; measures will include setting up a £10m local highway development fund to meet any additional works
- 45% of Gatwick passengers already use public transport. Improvements will help increase this to 60% by 2040, comparable with the best airports in the world
- Gatwick will fully fund any road improvements such as the M23 Junction 9 and A23 diversion
- Investment in the Gatwick Gateway, a world class interchange for the airport that will also serve the local community and the wider region
- An increase in the Passenger Transport Levy used to support sustainable access and public
AIR QUALITY PLEDGES
Gatwick will continue to meet all legal air quality standards
Gatwick’s plan will result in lower air pollution impacts and will use industry leading initiatives to continue to meet the legal air quality standards which Heathrow regularly breaches today:
- Landing charges will be structured to reward airlines for operating cleaner flights
- Zero or low-emission hybrid or electric vehicle charging and fuel facilities will be provided for passengers, operational vehicles, coaches and buses
- Gatwick Airport’s Operational Vehicle Fleet will be zero or low emission (or run on low carbon fuels) by 2025
- Reduced or single engine taxiing will continue in collaboration with our airlines
- We will work with our contractors to use low emission construction vehicle fleets, plant and equipment
- To demonstrate compliance with air quality standards we will continue to monitor air quality at the airport and in Horley, and introduce two new permanent monitoring stations in the northern parts of Crawley
Gatwick recognises that expansion will impact on the local environment and will continue to minimise, mitigate, and compensate
During public consultation, local people raised questions around the effect of a second runway on local rivers, ancient woodland and green open space. Gatwick has responded by:
- We will replace woodland at 2:1 ratio for non-ancient and 3:1 for ancient woodland with the aim of a net gain in woodland provision
- New woodlands will be developed using transplanted material that will match as closely as is possible the character of the ancient woodland affected
- An investment programme of up to £30 million will provide flood resilience measures which will protect our local communities downstream of the airport
- The River Mole and Crawters Brook will be diverted into open channel replacing more than 500m of culvert and will be designed to develop a more natural form, enhancing biodiversity
- The new water courses will be encompassed in a linear park forming part of the airport perimeter landscaping and, over time, the river corridors will provide excellent wildlife habitat
Notes to Editors
Download Gatwick’s new ‘Connecting Britain to the Future. Faster’ document here
The cost of building other hospitals in the UK recently
£545 million for new Queen Elizabeth Hospital that opened in Birmingham in 2012. Over 1,000 beds
£429m Royal Liverpool Hospital (£335 million for the building itself) with 750 beds
£340m to build Royal Derby Hospital with 1,187 beds
£237 million for the new 513 bed Pembury hospital in Tunbridge Wells