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A campaign group said it will mount a massive campaign of opposition if Gatwick Airport is serious about building a second runway.
The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) said a new runway would either be too close to residents in Crawley or too close to the existing runway to be efficient.
GACC Chairman Brendon Sewill said the options had been looked at several times before but were ruled out as impracticable.
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. We have been supported by local MPs and all the county, district and parish councils in a wide area. If necessary, we will resume the battle.
“If there were any serious plan for a new runway, GACC would mount a massive campaign of opposition.”
Crawley MP Henry Smith said it was too early to build a new runway but it would be foolish to rule out one in the future.
He said: “I don’t blame Gatwick for wanting to look into the possibility but I do think it is premature for there to be a runway at Gatwick at the moment. On current capacity there has room to grow and of course the legal agreement remians in place until 2019.”
The MP said he supported Gatwick’s right to look into options but said considerable obstacles split opinion across Crawley.
He said: “Poeple living in Langley Green and Pound Hill are understandably concerned about space and housing whereas in Maidenbower and Broadfield a lot of people are emplyed at Gatwick.
“We need to ask is it possible? Is it viable?”
Crawley Borough Council leader Cllr Bob Lanzer said the council would gather its own evidence before coming to a view.
He said: “Its quite natural and reasonable that Gatwick is making a pitch about the potential of a second runway. I’m quite relaxed about it but I’m not going to give a view either way at this stage.”
He said the finely balanced argument would need to consider noise pollution, housing, employment, economic benefits and transport networks.
Housing for additional workers would be a crucial issue with the borough already under stress to provide enough accomadation for its residents.
In 2003 the council voted to oppose a new runway.
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Weather for Crawley
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 15 C to 26 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 12 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: East