Campaigners opposed to expansion at Gatwick have hailed the county council’s vote not to support a second runway as “a victory for common sense”.
Members of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) have been appealing for residents to take part in the Airports Commission consultation as they battle to defeat proposals to expand the airport.
They were overjoyed when councillors voted at a Full Council meeting on Monday (January 19) not to throw their support behind Gatwick’s bid.
Speaking after the meeting, GACC chairman Brendon Sewill said: “We are delighted by the result today as it clearly illustrates to the Airports Commission that residents do not support a second runway and nor does its council in a 37 to 26 vote by councillors today to oppose the expansion.”
GACC’s joy was not shared by Gatwick.
A spokesman said: “While obviously disappointed at this decision, we will continue to work closely with West Sussex County Council to illustrate the benefits –both economic and social – that expansion will deliver for years to come.
“Gatwick is doing as much as possible to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on local residents. If chosen for expansion, we will work with local authorities to maximise the benefit and minimise, mitigate against, or compensate for, of a second runway.”
GACC members had been hard at work over the weekend, erecting banners at points along what would become the boundary of Gatwick should approval be given for a second runway.
A spokesman said the idea was to show residents how much land the expanded airport would swallow up.
The banners were placed at: the junction of Ifield Road and Bonnetts Lane – chosen to show the boundary would be 100 yards from the northern edge of Crawley;
The Fleming Way roundabout on the A23 – to highlight the 286 business premises which would be demolished;
The roundabout near City Place – to highlight the offices, including Nestle’s HQ, which would be demolished;
Antlands Lane crosses the M23 and Lowfield Heath Road, Charlwood – to highlight the changes to the road network expansion would bring.
Mr Sewill said: “These notices will bring home to people that what is proposed is a whole new airport very close to the residential areas on the north of Crawley, especially Langley Green and Ifield.”
Crawley Borough Council will vote on whether to support a new runway on January 26.
Responses to the Airports Commission consultation need to be made by February 3. Log on to www.gov.uk and search for Airports Commission for details.