Council votes to oppose new runway

Horsham District Council leader Ray Dawe
Horsham District Council leader Ray Dawe

HORSHAM District Council has declared its strong opposition to the building of a second runway at Gatwick Airport.

Councillors voted at an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday, giving overwhelming support for council leader Ray Dawe’s response to the Airports Commission consultation work.

He stated that a second runway at Gatwick Airport would have a considerable detrimental effect on the physical, social and economic environment of the district.

Mr Dawe made it quite clear that if a second runway was to be built at Gatwick, the effects would have a fundamental impact on the general character of the district and on the lives of everyone who works and lives there.

“Clearly, a new runway would bring with it additional employment both directly and indirectly,” he said.

“We are told it would generate up to 23,000 jobs inside 15 years and create over 18,000 additional households. Such numbers would bring with them new pressures – pressure for more homes and business space, pressure on our roads and railways and pressure on our schools, doctors surgeries and hospitals.

“It would also bring with it noise - noise from aircraft taking off and landing affecting communities close to the airport and also noise from overflying aircraft that would affect communities living further afield.

“It is for these many reasons that I do not believe the council can support the proposals for a second runway and the commission’s consultation is the opportunity for us to make our views known.”

The recommendation of the council will be sent to the Airports Commission by February 3, to meet the consultation deadline.