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Dismay as Gatwick Airport expansion application accepted by Planning Inspectorate

11th August 2023

Second runway accepted for detailed examination despite lack of engagement with stakeholders.

Campaigners have expressed dismay after the Planning Inspectorate accepted Gatwick Airport’s application for a second runway for detailed consideration and examination.

CPRE Sussex has long opposed plans for a second runway at Gatwick because of the huge cost to the Sussex countryside and its residents.

The charity has criticised a lack of public engagement ahead of plans being submitted.

Documents published last week revealed a consortium of 10 local councils had also raised serious concerns about how Gatwick Airport consulted with stakeholders before submitting its development consent application.

These included that: “Consultation and engagement by the applicant have been neither meaningful nor effective in many ways.”

Despite this, the Planning Inspectorate has accepted the application.

CPRE Sussex director Paul Steedman said: “Gatwick’s plans are noisy, polluting and climate-trashing. This summer’s freaky weather has shown that climate chaos is here. We need to do everything we can to reverse it, not to turn up the heat. Gatwick has not had the courage to talk meaningfully with local residents about the reality of its second runway proposals. We’ll continue to oppose these plans at every step.”

The Planning Inspectorate has now published submission documents and a public inquiry will be held before a recommendation is made to the Secretary of State for Transport Mark Harper.

Mr Harper will then make the final decision.

CPRE Sussex says Gatwick Airport expansion makes achieving net zero targets almost impossible and taxpayers will be left footing the bill for cleaning up carbon emissions.

A second runway will also lead to increased air and noise pollution, risking the health and wellbeing of residents.

In a joint statement, 10 local councils, including Crawley Borough Council, West Sussex County Council, Horsham District Council, Mid Sussex District Council and East Sussex County Council expressed their disappointment with the decision to allow the application.

The statement said wider and more meaningful consultation should have taken place before the application was submitted.

It also said there were ‘many and varied environmental and economic impacts arising from the development’ which will need to be addressed.

CPRE Sussex will continue working in partnership with residents’ groups, including CAGNE, to oppose Gatwick Airport expansion.

Anyone interested in helping to stop the expansion bid can:

  • Sign the CPRE Sussex petition which will be sent to Secretary of State for Transport Mark Harper
  • Donate to the CAGNE fundraiser to help cover the legal costs of fighting Gatwick’s plans.

More details of how to register as an Interested Party for the inquiry will also be available on the Planning Inspectorate website shortly.