Don’t forget us in runway plan

Gatwick Airport, aerial view of new passenger bridge at Pier 6 and North Terminal Apron including runways, June 2005, Image ref CGA00963, A.C ENGSNL00120111121155645
Gatwick Airport, aerial view of new passenger bridge at Pier 6 and North Terminal Apron including runways, June 2005, Image ref CGA00963, A.C ENGSNL00120111121155645

A NEW runway at Gatwick could interfere with this area more than predicted, councillors have warned.

Chichester district councillors have agreed they need to warn the Airports Commission the knock-on impact of adding a runway to Gatwick Airport could have significant implications for the area’s residents.

Cllr Josef Ransley said an increase in flight paths could create noise pollution for the area, despite the distance from Gatwick, as that will depend on the chosen flight paths.

He said: “Creating a new highway in the sky is industry-led and industry investors make the decisions that effect people’s lives.”

Cllr Myles Cullen agreed and said the people controlling flight paths will probably attempt to stop the planes flying over highly built up areas, which could be to the detriment of residents in rural areas.

The Airports Commission has reported the potential impact of expanding the airports at Gatwick or Heathrow and invited local authorities to give their comments.

Chichester District Council’s cabinet and planned its view on Tuesday.

It agreed to call for more mitigating measures to be planned.

Cllr Ransley pointed out that the commission predicted employment growth could create demand for up to 18,400 more homes by 2030.

He said: “If these new homes are divided between the local authorities that means we’ve got to find an additional 180 houses per annum in the north east of the district.”

Councillors agreed to make a comment informing that housing pressures were likely to spread to Chichester and the commission ‘may be under-estimating the difficulty of accommodating increased housing’.

They agreed the commission did not appear to recognise or plan for any improvements to the A27 or rail services.

They said these would be ‘essential’ to improve the connectivity with Gatwick.

Councillors agreed that although an expansion would create jobs, most would go to people who live nearer Gatwick and London.

Members also agreed to tell the commission it has made little 
reference to ozone emissions and the ‘potentially serious impact on health, crops and ecosystems’.