Gatwick campaigners produce key information showing “no councillor in their right mind would vote for a new runway.”
Campaigners opposed to expansion at Gatwick have said no councillor in their right mind would vote for a new runway. Setting out the information people need, in order to write responses to the Airports Commission, opposing a Gatwick runway, the new paper by GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) is Gatwick Unwrapped. Itcontains a detailed assessment of Gatwick’s runway plans. Copies have been sent to all borough and county councillors in areas affected by Gatwick. GACC shows that the Commission has under-estimated the pressure a 2nd runway would place on both the road and rail networks, and on local housing and infrastructure of all kinds. The report shows the figures used by the Commission were based on a forecast of cars and passengers in 2030, when the new runway would not yet be operating at its full capacity – and impacts would be likely to be even greater in later years. GACC says expansion would lead to the creation of 60,000 jobs which, in turn, would lead to an influx of people to the area, resulting in 100,000 more vehicles on the roads every day and more than 90,000 extra people using rail services. The numbers of people to be subjected to more aircraft noise and new flight paths have also been underestimated.
Gatwick campaigners deploy ‘main weapon’ in expansion fight
8.1.2015 (Crawley Observer)
New GACC document – Gatwick Unwrapped Jan 2015
Campaigners opposed to expansion at Gatwick have said no councillor in their right mind would vote for a new runway.
Brendon Sewill, of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) made the statement following the publication of Gatwick Unwrapped an 18-page document which details the group’s examination of the runway plans.
The document, which GACC said was the “main weapon” in its battle to fight expansion, was sent to borough and county councillors on Monday (January 5).
Among the issues raised within its pages were fears the Airports Commission (AC) had under-estimated the pressure a second runway would place on both the road and rail networks, particularly given the number of new jobs and new homes expansion would create.
The report stated the figures used by the AC were based on a forecast of cars and passengers in 2030, when the new runway would not yet be operating at its full capacity.
GACC stated expansion would lead to the creation of 60,000 jobs which, in turn, would lead to an influx of people to the area, resulting in 100,000 more vehicles on the roads every day and more than 90,000 extra people using rail services.
A Gatwick spokesman countered GACC’s claims and said: “It is simply not reasonable to expect that jobs and economic growth will come to the region automatically.
“Far from being a development disaster, we believe the growth a bigger Gatwick would bring, coupled with a highly responsible approach to managing environmental issues, would offer prosperity to the south east for decades to come.”
Regarding GACC’s concern about the predicted road and rail figures, he added: “Independent expert bodies including Network Rail and the Highways Agency agree that the committed public transport proposals for Gatwick will be adequate to cope with additional demand from a second runway.”
Another issue highlighted in Gatwick Unwrapped was that of noise.
According to the AC, the number of people in Crawley who would find themselves experiencing noise levels of ‘moderate community annoyance’ would be more than 15,000 in 2030, rising to almost 25,000 by 2050.
GACC again questioned the figures used by the AC, claiming they did not include the people who would set up home in Crawley’s new neighbourhood, Forge Wood, once building was complete – a matter the group planned to raise in its submission to the commission.
A spokesman for Gatwick pointed out the Forge Wood development was included in its submission to the AC in July 2014.
The airport predicted 4,700 people in the new neighbourhood would experience noise levels of 54 decibels, 4,300 of those would reach 57 decibels, 4,000 would reach 60 decibels and 700 would experience noise as loud as 63 decibels.
The matter of the area’s heritage was also raised in Gatwick Unwrapped, particularly the 19 listed buildings which would be demolished to make way for the new runway.
The prospect of such demolition was described in the report as “the largest destruction of our heritage since the World War II Blitz”.
In recognition of the importance of the buildings, Gatwick Airport Ltd (GAL) had previously suggested some might de-constructed and rebuilt elsewhere – similar to the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum which already houses an ancient hall from Crawley.
GACC remained dubious of the suggestion and stated: “That would be a difficult, costly and lengthy process. We doubt if it could be achieved within the GAL target of opening the new runway in 2025. We will tell the Commission that if this suggestion is to be taken seriously it must be made a legal obligation, with the airport bearing the cost.”
Mr Sewill said the idea of a second runway had been: “sold to the public gift-wrapped in a massive advertising and lobbying campaign”.
With many of the area’s councils due to vote this month on whether to support expansion, he added: “When they see the full facts, no councillor in their right mind would vote for a new runway.”
The closing date for comments to reach the Airports Commission is February 3.
Log on to www.gov.uk/airports-commission for details.
New briefing “Gatwick Unwrapped” by GACC provides comprehensive detail for Commission consultation responses
GACC has now had time to read the consultation documents from the Airports Commission carefully, and give consideration to the detailed impacts of a 2nd Gatwick runway. In a thorough analysis, carefully argued and fully referenced, entitled Gatwick Unwrapped, GACC has set out why the glossy promotion of Gatwick’s runway plans – at substantial cost – by the airport, is not all it seems. Looking at the details, GACC says the runway has been sold to the public gift-wrapped in a massive advertising and lobbying campaign, but when “unwrapped” it falls far short of expectations. GACC has looked at a range of issues, including the numbers of jobs to be created; the available work force within the area; transport problems for road and rail; numbers of houses required …… and so on. GACC wants everyone to respond to the current consultation (closing date 3 February) by saying ‘No’ to a new Gatwick runway. Gatwick Unwrapped provides facts and figures to help people respond. And Gatwick Unwrapped is being sent to all local councillors. Many local councils are due to vote in January on whether to support or oppose the runway. “When they see the full facts” says GACC Chairman, Brendon Sewill, “no councillor in their right mind would vote for a new runway.”