Crawley Council object to Gatwick Master Plan – due to detrimental effect on the local environment
Recently a YouGov poll commissioned by Gatwick airport – unclear what the exact wording was, or who was polled – claimed about three quarters of residents backed the airport’s expansion. However, at a Crawley full council meeting, the majority vote was against the proposal. This is what they will put in the council response to the Gatwick Master Plan consultation that is currently going on. The opposition is unsurprising as Crawley council have made their feelings clear in previous years, objecting to the 2nd runway. A year ago Crawley approved the building of a new Boeing hangar, for aircraft maintenance, as they hoped this would bring local jobs. In the council there is a real concern that the growth proposed would have too detrimental an effect on the environment. Gatwick claim it is making less noise now (a claim that many severely overflown residents would not believe, especially with noise at night) and “30% of its fleet will comprise quieter aircraft by 2022.” Local group CAGNE has asked hat the airport disclose details the safety incidents that have already occurred whilst using the emergency runway when the main runway is closed for maintenance.
Crawley Council object to Gatwick Master Plan after airport says majority of residents approve it.
There seems to be a rift between what the Council think is right and what the residents do.
Only a week ago a poll commissioned by the airport stated that three quarters of residents polled were in favour of the master plan.
But in a full council held last night, the majority vote was against the proposal.
Realistically the result is no surprise as the Council had made their feelings clear in previous years objecting to the second runway.
Interestingly it was only a year ago that the Council voted to allow for the building of the new Boeing hangar, a new hub that would allow maintenance of aircraft from across Europe. Whilst the hangar would not increase air traffic in the same way, its approval was given after many councillors stated how it would bring much needed jobs and revenue into the area.
So there is a hunger for building, improving and growing resources at Gatwick but not it seems with increasing passenger numbers.
Whilst the majority of councillors who spoke did support Gatwick there was a real concern that the growth proposed would have too much of a detrimental effect on the environment.
Only this morning Gatwick published a press release where they said the airport had seen a 3% reduction in its noise footprint to the previous year. They said that this was in part to their initiative to modify the A320, an aircraft most used at Gatwick. They also say that 30% of its fleet will comprise quieter aircraft by 2022.
But these findings have fallen on deaf ears with the council and also objection groups including CAGNE (Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions) who this week demanded that the airport disclose the safety incidents that have already occurred whilst using the emergency runway when the main runway is closed for maintenance.
A Gatwick spokesperson said:
“It is disappointing that the Council does not recognise the economic boost our plans would deliver for future generations, including thousands of jobs, new global connections and opportunities for local businesses. The decision also appears out of touch with the views of residents surveyed across Sussex in a recent independent YouGov poll, who overwhelmingly support Gatwick growing within its existing footprint (74%), with only 16% opposed.
“Local economic prosperity cannot be taken for granted and neither can the important role Gatwick plays in Crawley. While disappointed at this decision, we will consider the views of everyone who responds to our consultation before publishing our final master plan next year.”
Crawley Borough Council votes by 25:11 to oppose 2nd runway at Gatwick
A special Full Council meeting of Crawley Borough Council has voted by 25:11 against a 2nd runway at Gatwick. The meeting was held on 26th January, to discuss the content of the Council’s response to the Airports Commission consultation, and whether the Council would take no position, pro or anti the runway – or decide one way or the other. After two hours of debate, in front of a packed public gallery, a recorded vote was taken – it was a free vote, with councillors allowed to vote how they saw fit, rather than according to party lines. The suggested Cabinet wording was that “The Full Council considers that the interests of Crawley residents and businesses are best served by the Council objecting to a second runway being developed at Gatwick.” The objection will be recorded in the council’s response to the Commission. Five councillors – Stephen Joyce, Colin Moffatt, Chris Oxlade, Peter Smith and council leader Peter Lamb – felt the council should have agreed to take no specific view on the 2nd runway at this time. All five then voted not to object to the new runway. Most other local councils have also recently voted against the runway. Details below.