RE: Gatwick second runway consultation.
This consultation appears to be a ploy by GAL (Gatwick Airport Limited) to confuse the public and obtain an overwhelming false result in favour of a second runway.
Despite GAL’s pretence of three alternative runway options, there is really only one option. Option 1 is not being considered by the Airports Commission and would be too costly to GAL and not provide sufficient capacity or financial returns. Options 2 and 3 appear to be just alternative runway usage options but either will have the same disastrous consequences for Crawley.
Either option will bring the airport, bigger than Heathrow is today, to within half a mile of northern neighbourhoods and under two miles from Queens Square.
It appears that GAL’s consultation will not offer an option to reject all of the options and oppose any second runway, which can only provide a ‘yes’ vote for a second runway, with Crawley becoming an annex of Gatwick Airport.
The exhibitions are likely to be weighted to hide the real damaging implications for all of Crawley and not just those neighbourhoods to the north of the town.
A second runway (options 2 & 3) will mean that all roads, out of Crawley to the north, apart from the M23, will have to be diverted or closed, this includes the A23 which has already disappeared from the GAL leaflet. Roads around Bonnets Lane and Charlwood Road, as well as the Balcombe Road, Radford Road and Antlands Lane will also be affected.
With many industrial and office units north of Fleming Way needing to be relocated potentially elsewhere in Crawley, Fleming Way and County Oak could potentially become part of a new southern boundary road.
With the promise of 19,000 new jobs at the airport plus additional service companies, there will be a mass inward migration of workers from all over the UK and EU, most requiring housing in the area.
A West Sussex County Council report estimated the need for 40,000 new houses around Gatwick.
This will mean the gaps between Crawley and East Grinstead and Horsham, and potentially Balcombe being diminished with some neighbourhoods potentially becoming “dormitories” similar to areas around Heathrow.
Along with the vast increase in airport passengers, thousands of additional workers will commute into the area each day by car and train, however, our roads are already full and the Brighton line already at capacity.
Main roads and “rat runs” leading into Crawley will become regularly gridlocked and not just when there are problems on the M23 and adjoining M25.
In addition to the airport, with the whole of Crawley and surrounding areas urbanised and congested, air and noise pollution will be vastly increased, leading to health problems.
With low unemployment in Crawley, most new jobs will go to UK/EU migrant workers and not to existing Crawley residents or their grandchildren. So perhaps when visiting the exhibitions and responding to the consultation, we should all ask ourselves, “will our children really want to live in such an urbanised and more polluted environment?”
D Meakings, Crawley