Claims expansion at Gatwick would “nurture” the Green Belt have been blasted as “rubbish” by campaigners.
A meeting of the Gatwick Diamond Economic Growth Forum was told on Thursday (June 5) there were environmental reasons additional runway capacity should be aimed south of London, rather than Heathrow.
Neil Bennett, of architect planners Farrells, said: “I think growth at Gatwick has the capacity of nurturing the Green Belt. It will provide jobs. We know we can’t stagnate. There has to be a catalyst to move forward growth.”
Brendon Sewill, chair of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign said expansion would lead to “massive urbanisation of the countryside” and added: “‘Nurturing’ is the sort of rubbish that is being put out by Gatwick at present.”
Mr Sewill said claims 40,000 new homes would be needed to cater for the amount of jobs created was an “underestimate”.
He added: “Most of the new houses would need to go into Sussex but there would inevitably be great pressure on the Green Belt in Surrey. The result could only be a massive urbanisation of the countryside around Crawley, not nurture, devastate.”