Sir Paul Beresford, the MP for Mole Valley, has joined the battle against aircraft noise due to Gatwick airport, over the south of the district. Documents for the recent airspace consultation by Gatwick (closed on 15th August) show that one of Gatwick’s departure routes was changed in November 2013. This flight path had too tight a turn for modern aircraft (though they can climb faster than older planes) and planes were increasingly straying further north. As a result, the official route, the NPR (noise preferential 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 said: “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 whole thing is totally unacceptable.” He is deeply opposed to a 2nd runway, partly due to the thousands of houses that would have to be built, on green field land, to accommodate workers. “They are actually bussing people in from the South Coast to do jobs” already.
New action group, Plane Wrong, fights Gatwick flight path changes north of the airport
A new local action group, “Plane Wrong”, opposing changes of Gatwick flight paths, and the sudden increase in plane noise for some areas, has been formed. The flight path is now making a wider turn. Changes to a flight path, heading west and north of Gatwick are affecting – and causing annoyance and distress to – thousands of people across parts of Surrey. Plane Wrong has been established by people in Beare Green, Betchworth, Blackbrook, Brockham, Capel, Coldharbour, the Holmwoods, Leigh, Leith Hill, Redhill and Reigate. The group argues that there have been insufficient trials and consultations about the changes. The increased noise is damaging the environment, especially the AONB surrounding Leith Hill. Plane Wrong has organised two public meetings, on 22nd and 23rd October, to which the CAA was invited to explain its flight path changes. Plane Wrong has a petition to the CAA, asking it to stop the new route. Plane Wrong say that “If this flight path is not reversed, it sets a precedent for airspace changes to be made without proper consideration for the impact it has on the local surrounding areas and population.”
New action group fights Gatwick Airport flight path changes
Oct 13, 2014 (Get Surrey)
By Andre Langlois
New group Plane Wrong is holding two upcoming public meetings to discuss its plans
An action group has been formed to campaign against changes at Gatwick Airport that have affected thousands of people across the county.
Flight paths were recently changed, affecting people to the south and east of Dorking, who were previously unaffected by aircraft noise.
Plane Wrong, which has been established by people in Beare Green, Betchworth, Blackbrook, Brockham, Capel, Coldharbour, the Holmwoods, Leigh, Leith Hill, Redhill and Reigate, argues that there have been insufficient trials and consultations about the changes.
Its chairman, Mike Ward, said: “This unnecessary change is causing great distress to thousands of people over a wide area and damage to the environment, especially the area of outstanding natural beauty surrounding Leith Hill. The change must be reversed.
“We urge everyone to write to the Civil Aviation Authority and the Department for Transport during the next few days.
“If this flight path is not reversed, it sets a precedent for airspace changes to be made without proper consideration for the impact it has on the local surrounding areas and population.
“We invite you to join us.”
The Plane Wrong group is working with other community groups that are campaigning on similar issues including the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign.
Two public meetings have been organised by the group to discuss its plans.
The district’s MP, Sir Paul Beresford, will be the speaker during a meeting at Beare Green Village Hall on Wednesday October 22 at 7.30pm.
A second meeting will take place at Meadvale Parish Hall, in Redhill, on Thursday October 23 at 7.30pm and will be attended by MP Crispin Blunt MP.
Beare Green, Village Hall, Merebank, RH5 4RD
7.30pm Wednesday 22nd October 2014
Sir Paul Beresford MP
GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)
Civil Aviation Authority
Reigate & Redhill, Meadvale Parish Hall, Somerset Road RH1 6LT
7.30pm Thursday 23rd October 2014
Crispin Blunt MP
GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)
Civil Aviation Authority
From Mike Ward, Chair Plane Wrong
Plane Wrong petition
PlaneWrong says their petition “Stop the change to flight paths north of Gatwick Airport”, is doing really well. It is now not short of 2,000 signatories. Please help spread the word by forwarding the link to the petition, below, to your friends?
STOP THE CHANGE TO FLIGHT PATHS NORTH OF GATWICK AIRPORT
TO DIRECTOR OF AIRSPACE POLICY, CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY
Stop the change to flight paths north of Gatwick Airport
We, the undersigned, call on the Civil Aviation Authority to reverse the decision of the Director of Airspace Policy which enables Gatwick Airport Limited to fly departures outside of the existing Noise Preferential Route (NPR) for RWY26 DVR/BIG/CLN/LAM
There has been an increase in disturbance in areas to the North of Gatwick Airport, mostly caused by a change to departure routes when the airport is operating with take-offs to the west (70-80% of the time). Aircraft now make wider turns than before and therefore go further west and north before heading off to their destination to the north or east of Gatwick (planes going south or west generally take a different route).
Part of the revised route lies outside the quite wide permitted corridor (known as Noise Preferential Route –NPR) that has existed for many years. Gatwick wants the NPR boundary changed so that this can continue. The impact is that many people are now affected who were not before. The CAA is reviewing these changes now. We must stop them becoming permanent. (NB Gatwick is deferring certain flight path changes. This does not apply to this route.)
Gatwick has introduced new flight paths that concentrate the flights into a much narrower corridor. So if you are near that narrow corridor you will be getting significantly more flights overhead. Previously, the wider corridor allowed a spread of flights.
The concentrated flight paths are also causing problems for those who live under the easterly departure route. This now also operates in a narrow band. Many people now suffer from both routes.
What’s the advantage for Gatwick?
It seems that the wider turn allows the aircraft to fly faster. This may mean that Gatwick can squeeze in a few more take-offs. So the motive may be extra profit.
What’s the disadvantage for us?
But the wider turn is what pushes flights out over the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and closer to Leith Hill. It is also the cause of annoyance to people who were not troubled before. It affects Capel, Beare Green, Coldharbour, Holmwood, Brockham, Betchworth, Leigh, Reigate and Redhill.
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).
Map from Gatwick airspace consultation at