Gatwick Northern Runway consultation sees opposition
Crawley Borough Council and 9 other local authorities have submitted a string of concerns to the Planning Inspectorate (PI) about Gatwick’s plans to bring its northern runway into regular use for departing flights. The proposals were accepted for examination in August and are expected to be looked at by an Examining Authority panel (ExA) of the PI in early 2024. Crawley’s planning committee agreed to submit a holding objection to the plans – one which could be changed should the airport address the concerns raised. A spokesman said the council has a wide range of concerns with the airport’s expansion project, “including the uncertainty regarding future economic benefits for residents, the airport’s ability to operate within acceptable and enforceable limits without causing environmental harm, the impacts of construction, air quality, traffic and a lack of active travel solutions.” The other nine authorities, who issued a joint statement with Crawley were East Sussex County Council, Horsham District Council, Kent County Council, Mid Sussex District Council, Mole Valley District Council, Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, Surrey County Council, Tandridge District Council and West Sussex County Council.
Gatwick Northern Runway consultation sees opposition
31st October 2023
By Karen Dunn @Karen_Dunn Local Democracy Reporter (The Argus)
Crawley Borough Council and nine other authorities have submitted a string of concerns to a government-appointed panel about Gatwick Airport’s Northern Runway plans.
The airport’s proposals to bring its emergency runway into regular use for departing flights only have divided opinion across the region.
The proposals were accepted for examination in August and are expected to be looked at by an Examining Authority panel (ExA) in early 2024.
During a meeting of the borough council’s planning committee, it was agreed to submit a holding objection to the plans – one which could be changed should the airport address the concerns raised. A spokesman said: “Gatwick Airport is a huge economic asset for the town.
“We support its continued development as a one runway, two terminal airport and are pleased that more long-haul routes have come to Gatwick – something that supports the Crawley economy and residents.
“However, we have a wide range of concerns with the airport’s Northern Runway Project, including the uncertainty regarding future economic benefits for residents, the airport’s ability to operate within acceptable and enforceable limits without causing environmental harm, the impacts of construction, air quality, traffic and a lack of active travel solutions.”
Members of the ExA visited the area in and around Gatwick between October 10 and 12 to carry out an inspection.
They covered sites such as the Conservation Areas in Horley, Charlwood and Burstow as well as major roads such as the A23, Balcombe Road and the M23 spur.
Should the £2.2billion proposals be approved, Gatwick Airport has said that construction could start in 2025 and be completed and ready for operational use by the end of the decade.
The other nine authorities, who issued a joint statement with Crawley were East Sussex County Council, Horsham District Council, Kent County Council, Mid Sussex District Council, Mole Valley District Council, Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, Surrey County Council, Tandridge District Council and West Sussex County Council.
They said: “All 10 councils have independently submitted their relevant representations regarding Gatwick Airport’s Northern Runway Project.
“These include wide-ranging concerns and raise issues about the ability of the airport to operate within acceptable and enforceable limits without causing health and environmental harm.
“They include the need for appropriate noise limits, air quality concerns and the ability of transport networks to manage increased traffic, including by sustainable modes of travel.
“The concerns also include the need for adequate protection of heritage and ecology assets and to secure net zero on-airport greenhouse gas emissions.
“Further, the authorities want to ensure that the economic benefits that could arise from the project are secured for the areas surrounding Gatwick Airport and that growth does not give rise to negative impacts on employment, housing, and local services.”
Gatwick airport expansion: people have till 29th October to register to be an “interested party”
Gatwick has now had its expansion plans – to convert its emergency runway into a full runway, for take-offs only – accepted by the Planning Inspectorate. This is part of the DCO process (Development Consent Order) as the Gatwick expansion is called as a project of national significance. So the plans will go into the examination process, by which organisations and members of the public can give their opinion on the plans. This means submitting evidence and applying to appear at the public hearings. The cut off date to register to be an “interested party” is Sunday, October 29th. That means people can give their opinion at a later date. People can register online. After October, 29 the Planning Inspectorate then has 6 months to carry out an examination. During this time registered commentators will be invited to give further details about why they have responded in the way they did. The inspectorate’s report will then be sent to the relevant Secretary of State, who will make the decision to grant or refuse development consent.
Gatwick submits plans for second runway to double passenger numbers
Gatwick has formally submitted plans for a £2.2bn second runway, as the airport looks to double its passenger numbers to 75 million a year. There are the usual claims of more jobs and “a £1bn annual boost to the region”, which ignores the impact of yet more holiday flights, taking money out of the region and reducing tourism spend in the UK. The additional flights would significantly worsen noise and air pollution, as well as carbon emissions, from the airport. The 30,000-page application for a Development Consent Order to convert its standby runway for routine use was lodged with the Planning Inspectorate on 6th. The process is expected to take about a year before it reaches the Transport Secretary for final approval. The project will convert the emergency runway by moving its centreline 12 metres north, allowing planes to take off while others come in to land on the existing runway. There are road changes with additional local road lanes and flyovers. Gatwick has hopes work will start in 2025 for the runway to be in use by 2030. The political decision may potentially be just before or after a general election in 2025. The extra million tonnes of CO2 per year are totally inappropriate, with worsening climate change and global heating already apparent.
Gatwick Airport expected to submit second runway DCO application within two weeks
The long-awaited Development Consent Order (DCO) application to convert Gatwick Airport’s emergency runway into a second runway is expected to be submitted within the next two weeks. No date has been given. Gatwick wants to rebuild its Northern Runway, which is currently used as a standby and for maintenance, to be used by smaller departing aircraft. This would include moving the centre line of the runway further north by 12m, bringing it within global safety standards to operate dual runway departures. The plan also include provision for road changes, a new pier, improvements to existing terminal buildings and additional parking and hotels. Due to the scope of the plans, the scheme has been deemed a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project meaning that a DCO is needed before construction can start. The DCO application is expected to comprise of 25,000-30,000 pages with approximately 100 plans. Gatwick is using its legal advisors’ SharePoint site to submit the documents. Most of Gatwick’s passengers are leisure travellers, for holidays or visiting friends and family. The flights enabled by the extra runway would lead to an increase of perhaps 1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. At a time of climate crisis.