CPRE branches and local campaign groups consider legal action against Government if Gatwick runway approved

The Sussex and Surrey branches of CPRE (the Campaign to Protect Rural England) have jointly written to the Prime Minister to warn her that a legal challenge is on the cards if the government gives permission for Gatwick to build a 2nd runway.  As well as the two CPRE branches the most affected by Gatwick, heritage venues, such as Hever Castle, Kent; Knepp Castle, West Sussex and 16 local action groups, have written to the Theresa May to say they are prepared to fight a decision.  They said “the destruction of wildlife, tranquillity, dark night skies and clean air” could not be justified for a new runway. They add that Gatwick expansion is not just about a runway; it comes with huge baggage that would destroy the very landscapes that CPRE and local residents seek to protect and promote for future generations.  Gatwick lies in the lee of the North Downs surrounded by three ‘Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ which enjoy the same protections as the National Parks. The Chairman of CPRE Sussex said: “We may be smart about our technology but we can’t recreate our countryside, ancient woodland, and heritage.  We are all responsible for our legacy; surely we should be leaving behind a better world by preserving our countryside from such destructive developments as a new runway at Gatwick.”    
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Airport expansion: ‘Countryside challenge’ if Gatwick chosen

15.10.2016 (BBC)

A legal challenge will be on the cards if Gatwick Airport is given permission to expand, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has warned.

Its Sussex and Surrey branches, along with 16 local action groups, have written to the prime minister to say they are prepared to fight a decision.

They said “the destruction of wildlife, tranquillity, dark night skies and clean air” could not be justified.

A decision on airport expansion in the South East is expected shortly.

The shortlisted options being considered by the government are a third runway at Heathrow, extending Heathrow’s existing northern runway, or building a second runway at Gatwick.

Gatwick has previously pledged to minimise the impact on the environment if expansion is granted.

The letter to Theresa May urges her to “be smart about future growth and prosperity”.

“Gatwick expansion is not just about a runway, it comes with huge baggage that would destroy the very landscapes we seek to protect and promote for future generations,” the campaigners said.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-37666796?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

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The letter:

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London
SW1A 2AA

14th October 2016

Dear Prime Minister

The Sussex and Surrey branches of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and 16 local action groups have united to say they will not accept a decision to expand Gatwick.

Both CPRE branches fully oppose an additional runway in the South East. If Gatwick airport presses ahead with expansion, regardless of your decision in relation to an additional runway, we are prepared to scrutinise this and would consider a legal challenge. We do not believe that the destruction of wildlife, our tranquillity, our dark night skies and clean air can be justified by the expansion of Gatwick.

Gatwick expansion is not just about a runway, it comes with huge baggage that would destroy the very landscapes we seek to protect and promote for future generations. We have to be smart about future growth and prosperity.

We are supported in our stance by heritage venues, such as Hever Castle, Kent; Knepp Castle, West Sussex and 16 community action groups that now surround Gatwick Airport who stand united in opposing Gatwick expansion.

Yours faithfully

David Johnson, Chair, on behalf of

Campaign to Protect Rural England Sussex (CPRE Sussex)

Campaign to Protect Rural England, Surrey Branch (CPRE Surrey) 

and CAGNE, Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions.

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Earlier:

Campaign to Protect Rural England fears Gatwick runway would mean the loss of ‘glorious tranquil countryside’

With a Government announcement on airport expansion expected soon, the Chairman of the Sussex branch of the CPRE argues against a 2nd Gatwick runway. David Johnson says already Sussex councils are struggling under continuing Government pressure to find yet more sites for development. This pressure is met by fierce community challenges as local residents fight to protect what makes Sussex special – its tranquil rural beauty.  Building new infrastructure and swathes of new homes seem to be regarded as the key to inflating the UK’s economy. While the nuisance of aircraft noise, light and air pollution and the impact on local traffic is familiar to many of us, any extension to Gatwick threatens to worsen this blight.  David says: “The burden of a greater Gatwick fills me with dread – ‘progress’ should not lead to a decline in air quality, the bulldozing of ancient woodlands and the loss of glorious, tranquil countryside.  Gatwick lies in the lee of the North Downs surrounded by three ‘Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ which enjoy the same protections as the National Parks. … We may be smart about our technology but we can’t recreate our countryside, ancient woodland, and heritage.  We are all responsible for our legacy; surely we should be leaving behind a better world by preserving our countryside from such destructive developments as a new runway at Gatwick.”

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/10/campaign-to-protect-rural-england-fears-gatwick-runway-would-mean-the-loss-of-glorious-tranquil-countryside/