Gatwick could plan runway before 2019
Gatwick Airport could seek planning permission for a second runway before a legal agreement expires which prevents it before 2019.
The airport could not start building a new runway until after August 2019 when the agreement expires.
But it in theory it would be free to agree planning permission in preparation for the start of construction, West Sussex County Council confirmed.
A council spokesman said: “In theory Gatwick Airport can put all this place before the expiry of the legal agreement and get planning permission agreed. However, it would not be able to start any construction until the expiry date has passed.”
The legal agreement between previous Gatwick owner BAA and West Sussex County Council was made in 1979 and applies to whoever owns the airport.
It was put in place as a condition of BAA gaining permission to build the North Terminal.
The news follows a warning from the Institute of Directors (IoD) which said Gatwick and Heathrow airports should both be expanded to improve the UK’s business links with the rest of the world,
The business lobby group said planning permission at Gatwick should be sought now because demand would soon outstrip the infrastructure.
Gatwick is making its case for a new runway to the Davies Commission which will make recommedations in 2015.
The final decision will ultimately rest with the Government.
A Gatwick spokewoman said: “We have consistently said that there may come a time when we would need to start considering a second runway and, with the Government’s creation of an Airports Commission, that time has now come.
“Expansion at Gatwickshould be on the table for serious consideration and we are now beginning detailed work on options for a new runwayat Gatwick.”
Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign chair Brendon Sewill said all options of a new runway had been examined and dismissed many times before.
He said: “We have always been totally opposed to a new runway on environmental grounds, and have had massive support from across Surrey, Sussex and west Kent. If necessary, we will resume the battle.”
Ifield Society founder Richard Symonds, who supports a close-spaced runway, said: “If the bigger ‘wide-spaced’ runway is built, Ifield, Langley Green, the North East Sector and Pound Hill North are likely to be worse than Hounslow in terms of noise and pollution.”
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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