Complaint made over runway bid

JPCT 131114 S14510115x  Arora Hotel, Southgate Avenue, Crawley. Sally Pavey, Brendan Sewill and others at the meeting in front of Airports Commission chairman Sir Howard Davies  taking evidence concerning Gatwick Airports proposal to build a new runway. -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141216-110827001
JPCT 131114 S14510115x Arora Hotel, Southgate Avenue, Crawley. Sally Pavey, Brendan Sewill and others at the meeting in front of Airports Commission chairman Sir Howard Davies taking evidence concerning Gatwick Airports proposal to build a new runway. -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141216-110827001

A pressure group has called on the Airports Commission to withdraw Gatwick Airport’s second runway bid.

Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions (CAGNE), in a formal complaint to the commission, claimed the airport had not consulted local residents in accordance with the commission’s appraisal framework.

The document states: “The Commission believes that it is important for local communities most affected by airport development to be properly engaged and consulted. The Commission wishes to examine how scheme promoters intend to manage their engagement with communities throughout the lifespan of the proposed project, including the period after any new infrastructure is delivered.”

Sally Pavey, chairman of CAGNE, said: “Gatwick has deliberately avoided open consultation with its most important stakeholders – local residents.

“We’ve now discovered that all this time they’ve actively encouraged Heathrow’s local authorities to support a second runway. It’s unethical and must be challenged.”

A Gatwick spokesman said: “We regularly engage with local councils, meeting with representatives from more than 60 local groups, parish, town and district councils this year alone together with other local representatives and MPs. We also held a thorough and open 6-week local consultation on our plans for a second runway. This involved writing to 180,000 homes and businesses and holding 17 public exhibitions. No other shortlisted option ran a similar consultation, and further public consultations will take place if Gatwick is selected as the location for a new runway. We are very enthusiastic about the merits of our case and have talked with a large number of different groups up and down the country about the prospects for Gatwick, including with authorities around Heathrow that have a very legitimate interest in the runway debate.”