LETTER: Crisis building and no proper plans

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I write in respect to the Gatwick feature in the County Times which highlights the deficiencies of the UK not having planning visions because MPs are hostage to the economic development regime that exists around our capital city and which is one of the most prosperous regions in the world.

The airport debate is a key driver to the expansion in the South East and since Gatwick was conceived no adequate infrastructure has been built to respond to the Gatwick Diamond Area Plan and the airport continues to grow based upon expanding a single runway operation including continued flight delays at the airport.

A second runway would be a better way to operate the airport and safer too. There are already two terminals and this must say something.

In the meantime, will there be serious moves to deal with the homes needed to respond to the London bubble and other local employment needs - after all, it’s the economy that concerns most people here in the South East and the impact on the enviroment can be limited by building ‘smart’ and even new settlements would be more effective than expanding existing towns where the infrastructure has not been designed for add-ons and local residents object to most vocally.

One way to mitigate the development congestion and overcrowding on the Brighton rail line would be to utilise other under-used lines into London by building new towns which have been a sucessful part of the English town landscape.

One instance would be in West Sussex where the county council has shown support for a second runway at Gatwick. They now need to be proactive about easing the stranglehold on housing, infrastructure and transport matters and respond to their support for growth at Gatwick.

In this respect, our local MPs need to involve themselves in promoting a viable place to work and live rather than objecting. Just what has this negative approach achieved since Gatwick first took off. Nothing but crisis building with yet more to come and no plans in place to cope with the infrastructure needed to maintain a dynamic economic community.

RICHARD BATES

(LDem) Mid Sussex district councillor for Haywards Heath - Ashenground,

Lowfield Road, Haywards Heath