East Sussex County Council votes in favour of Gatwick 2nd runway by 27:19


At a full council meeting on Monday 26th January,  East Sussex County Council voted to back a 2nd runway at Gatwick. Members voted by 27 to 19 in support of the runway. The vote came about because the Council is discussing and agreeing its response to the Airports Commission consultation on a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick (having decided, for political reasons, to discount the option of no new runway). There was a free vote and the vote was recorded. Many councillors from economically stressed areas to the south of the county were persuaded that there would be jobs, if there was a new runway. Much of the county is sufficiently far from Gatwick to avoid many of the negative consequences of a new runway.  Some councillors hope they might also get better infrastructure, if there was a runway. Unfortunately, though there are jobs at Gatwick (many low paid and some may be on uncertain hours contracts) and people in need of jobs along the East Sussex Coast, the cost and difficulty of getting to Gatwick means the vacancies are not being filled by people from this area. Croydon etc are much closer to Gatwick,  and easier to get to for work.



Gatwick expansion: East Sussex County Council backs runway

Related BBC Stories

Gatwick Airport bosses’ plan to build a second runway has been backed by East Sussex County Council.

Members voted by 27 to 19 in support of the runway, in response to a public consultation on south-east aviation.

Councillor Peter Pragnell said jobs and the potential improved infrastructure were the reasons for the decision.

However, at a meeting on Monday night, Crawley Borough councillors voted against the plans, joining Kent and West Sussex county councils.

Three options

Crawley council said it would continue to work closely with organisations including the airport “without prejudice and regardless of future decisions made on the airport’s expansion”.

Councillors also agreed that if a second runway was not officially recommended for Gatwick then the position of safeguarded land in the town should be clarified by the government and the Airports Commission.

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Horsham District Council have also formally declared their opposition to a new runway.


A public consultation ends on 3 February, and it is then due to make its final recommendation to the government in the summer.



Parts of East Sussex are badly overflown by Gatwick planes, especially landings (on Westerly operations) coming in from the south.  However parts of the  county are sufficiently far from Gatwick to avoid many of the negative consequences of a new runway.

aApprox location of Gatwick in relation to East Sussex

Approximate location of Gatwick airport, in relation to East Sussex.



See earlier:

“Gatwick Obviously Not” asks all Wealden councillors if they back East Sussex County Council’s support for Gatwick runway

On 24th November, Kent County Council withdrew its backing for a 2nd Gatwick runway. At present both West Sussex and East Sussex County Councils support a new Gatwick runway. However, it is now understood that East Sussex County Council (ESCC) is starting to look wobbly on this commitment. Kent withdrew support largely due to the  unacceptable noise burden on a large number of its residents, and the same arguments apply for the Sussex councils. Gatwick Obviously Not (GON), representing many areas to the east of Gatwick, do not believe East Sussex District Councils support their County Council. GON has written to all 54 of the councillors in Wealdon District, that is now badly affected by over-flying, to ask their view on ESCC’s backing for Gatwick, and their view on the “unilateral stance taken by Cllr Simmons of ESCC to push through support for the 2nd runway under delegated powers” (found out by an FoI request).  GON are also asking their membership to email their Wealden councillors, to ask their views on the runway issue, bearing in mind the change of heart at Kent County Council.




East Sussex County Council and a 2nd Gatwick runway.

“East Sussex County Council View

Gatwick Second Runway – East Sussex View (Adobe PDF)

“The County Council supports a second runway at Gatwick Airport and during the recent
runway consultation agreed with the ‘independent mixed mode’ option. The Council
believes this option supports the delivery of the Council’s key priority of long term
economic growth for East Sussex. It maximises economic benefits and the capacity and
operational efficiency of the Airport.

A second runway will be significantly important for businesses in the county by:

• providing better access to international trade and global markets;

• and encouraging inward investment and supporting the vitality of our local economy;
generating much needed jobs both on and off the airport for our residents over the
next 20 – 30 years.

Our support for a second runway is on the basis that there are improvements to airport
access by road and rail.”

….. and it continues at  Gatwick Second Runway – East Sussex View (Adobe PDF)