MP urges rejection of runway

Gatwick Airport

Gatwick Airport

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A SECOND runway at Gatwick has been opposed ahead of crunch county council meetings this week.

West Sussex is due to respond to the Airport Commission’s consultation document over a second runway.

However, Arundel and South Downs member of parliament Nick Herbert urged county councillors to oppose the plans.

“I am concerned that the environmental impact of a second runway on rural West Sussex has not been fully understood,” he said in a letter to county councillors.

He spoke of an increase in flights of 250,000 per year if the runway went ahead.

“The flight path trials last summer which affected our constituency in the Wisborough Green area caused enormous upset and highlighted the sensitivity of tranquil rural communities where residents found aircraft noise especially intrusive,” he added.

He labelled the runway idea as ‘an unsustainable proposal that will damage our villages, towns and countryside’.

The county council is due to debate the consultation at its environmental and community services select committee today (January 14) and then at full council meeting on Monday (January 19).

The MP expressed concern the runway would add to development pressures in the county, claiming the jobs growth caused by the runway would require between 30,000 and 45,000 homes.

“Our district councils have had to take very difficult decisions to meet housing demand and villages are expanding to the limit. I do not believe that significantly more housing than already planned could be allocated in West Sussex over the next two decades without fundamentally risking the rural character of much of our county and causing enormous public concern,” he said.