Lesley Bushnell and the Lib Dem Focus Team

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Let’s fight plans for Gatwick expansion

by lesleybushnell on 4 November, 2018

Mole Valley Liberal Democrats have reacted with dismay to reports Gatwick Airport might convert their emergency runway into a second runway, bypassing controls on airport expansion when a restriction runs out next year. The draft plans came a week after the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned we had just 12 years to prevent a global climate change catastrophe. The plans would involve an increase in air traffic by up to 30%, and potentially more if Gatwick is able to get the runway extended in the future. 

There are also concerns that the loss of the emergency runway would endanger the public and exacerbate chaos in the event of an incident. Liberal Democrats have consistently opposed any additional runways in the South-East – whether at Gatwick, Heathrow or Stansted – citing noise and environmental concerns and the need to rebalance the United Kingdom economy away from the overheated South-East.

Parliamentary spokesperson Paul Kennedy said it was crazy for the Conservative Government now to allow expansion of both Heathrow and Gatwick Airports. Cllr Kennedy said:


“These proposals have wider regional and national significance. Here in Surrey, Mole Valley residents are already bearing the brunt of changes to Gatwick’s flight paths, and there is concern that most of the additional traffic will fly directly over our towns and villages. This decision should not be made by West Sussex alone.”

Paul will call on Chris Grayling to intervene. “We must ensure full public consideration of the economic, safety, noise and climate change implications of the proposals before any such change can even be considered. Gatwick should not be allowed to subvert the national airport planning framework.” 

Lesley Bushnell, local Lib Dem Campaigner in Capel, Leigh & Newdigate added,  “it seems ridiculous that originally there were no consultation events planned near our villages, which would be the worst affected by the extra flights. The proposed events proposed by Gatwick were in Croydon, Tunbridge Wells, Brighton, Horsham and Crawley.

“With strong representation from CAGNE (Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emission) and Lib Dem Campaigner Caroline Salmon from Beare Green, the Gatwick authorities have now agreed to hold a public exhibition in Horley on 24th November at the Leisure Centre, Anderson Way, RH6 8 SP 15.30 – 19.30.”

For more information Gatwick Airport have made a dedicated site and put their 2018 Draft Plan on www.gatwickairport.com/masterplan2018. Make sure you have your say. The consultation closes on 10 Jan 2019 and you can send comments to [email protected]







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