Hundreds oppose Gatwick expansion at meeting

Meeting at St Nicholas' Church SUS-151201-142005001
Meeting at St Nicholas' Church SUS-151201-142005001
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Attendees at a public meeting have raised their voices in opposition to expansion at Gatwick.

Around 500 residents from Charlwood and Hookwood packed into St Nicholas’ Church, Charlwood, on Thursday (January 8) to hear about what was being called a David v Goliath battle.

Speakers included Sir Paul Beresford MP, Cllr Helyn Clack and Cllr Charles Yarwood, all of whom spoke out against expansion.

A spokesman for Charlwood Parish Council said the highlight of the meeting came when borough Cllr Howard Bloom (Con, Pound Hill South & Worth), who lives in the village, said there was a growing feeling among Crawley councillors they have been “unduly influenced” by Gatwick Airport Ltd about the benefits of expansion.

The spokesman added: “There is such little benefit for Charlwood and Hookwood and the whole of Mole Valley that a second runway is totally unacceptable because the negative consequences are so huge.”

A spokesman for Gatwick said: “An expanded Gatwick would generate jobs and prosperity to the south east for decades to come and we have been making this case in a responsible and balanced way.

“Surveys show that local people support a new runway at Gatwick.”

But the message from the meeting was clear: “Charlwood parish will defeat Gatwick again.”