Plans for Gatwick growth would have ‘few benefits’ say conservationists

Conservationists are putting forward strong opposition to Gatwick Airport’s expansion plans.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 4:49 pm

Members of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign - GACC - say they are opposed to any further growth at Gatwick.

The airport is proposing to bring its current emergency runway - its Northern Runway - into regular use for departing flights, alongside its existing main runway.

Airport officials say the project is forecast to generate an extra 18,400 new jobs and generate an extra £1.5bn for the region’s economy.

Gatwick's runways

But GACC maintains that the airport’s proposals show “that growth at the airport would have few benefits but serious climate change consequences and devastating impacts on local communities and people under flight paths.”

The group says any increase in jobs would be by displacement from other regions and would be inconsistent with the government’s ‘levelling up’ plans.

It also disputes the amount of economic benefits claimed.

GACC adds: “Expansion of Gatwick would have very significant adverse climate change and community impacts.”

As well as an increase in air traffic, there would also be an increase in road traffic ‘causing congestion and impacting air quality,’ the group says.

An increase in flights by 35 per cent would cause ‘substantially more aircraft noise across large parts of Surrey, Sussex and Kent,’ GACC claims.

GACC chairman Peter Barclay said: “Gatwick’s proposals are opportunistic and have no merit.

“Its case for growth simply doesn’t stack up and the consequences are unthinkable.

“It would be completely unacceptable to allow CO2 increases and other climate and community impacts on the scale proposed just to facilitate an increase in leisure travel, mainly for the benefit of frequent flyers.

“It’s remarkable that at a time when aviation’s climate and other impacts are under scrutiny as never before, Gatwick should choose to bring forward these grotesque proposals.”