Residents and businesses have just one week left to respond to the Gatwick Aiport growth plans which include - for the first time - the routine use of its existing standby runway.
However, campaign group CAGNE (Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions) has warned that increased use of the airport could have an impact on house prices across the county.
Gatwick’s draft master plan was launched for consultation in October 2018 and considers how Gatwick could grow across three scenarios looking ahead to the early 2030s.
The three scenarios outlined by the airport are:
1. Main runway - using new technology to increase capacity in the near term offering incremental growth through more efficient operations.
2. Standby runway – potentially bringing Gatwick’s existing standby runway into routine use for departing flights, alongside its main runway, by the mid-2020s. This development would meet all international safety requirements and would be delivered without increasing the airport’s noise footprint and provide greater operational resilience.
3. Additional runway - while not actively pursuing the option of building a new runway to the south of the airport – Gatwick believes it is in the national interest to continue to safeguard this land for the future.
The public consultation on Gatwick’s draft master plan runs until 5pm on January 10 and can be accessed at its website.
Gatwick says its development will help meet future aviation demand with sustainable growth and ensure strong connections between Britain and global markets. It will also provide new opportunities for the South-East and continue to bolster the local economy for future generations.
Stewart Wingate, Chief executive Officer, Gatwick Airport, said: “Our draft master plan outlines some low-impact and highly innovative ways of unlocking new capacity from within our existing infrastructure. This will provide the UK with much needed new capacity, improve the airport’s resilience and generate new opportunities for the South East and its economy for generations to come.
“With only one week left I would encourage as many people as possible to take part in our ongoing consultation on our draft master plan, including anyone who wants to show their support for the airport’s exciting vision for the future.”
A statement from CAGNE says: “Gatwick’s proposed Master Plan will blight the South-East property market with their plan for a 3 runway airport.
“What does this mean for potential homebuyers? Will they tolerate the increased noise, which will get worse with 3 runways? Gatwick is already impacting areas as far away as Penshurst, Tunbridge Wells, Surrey Hills, Cranleigh, Battle and Bexhill.
“It has never been cheaper to fly on leisure breaks, cheaper than getting a commuter train from Gatwick to London. But aircraft noise drastically reduces house prices and the Gatwick Draft Master Plan potentially brings long-term blight to the housing markets of Sussex, Surrey and Kent.
Aircraft flying into and out of Gatwick currently impact housing with overflight and noise over a 30 mile radius. Most of these areas are rural with historic buildings, European heritage sites and protected landscapes. These are areas that people choose to live in with the expectation of tranquillity.
“The impact on these areas is severe due to their rural nature with little ambient noise and light pollution other than from Gatwick aircraft.”