What is happening with the Gatwick Aircraft noise story
Gatwick's Big Enough - Latest Developments
The two immediate elements of growth in the Master Plan are:
To increase the capacity of the existing Main Runway through the use of the latest Air Traffic handling technologies.
Change the use of the former Standby Runway to enable its use for departures.
According to the Master Plan, when these changes are completed the increase in flights (Air Traffic Movements or ATMs) could be almost 40%, and in passengers over 50%.
The change in use of the Standby Runway is subject by law to the rigorous scrutiny of a Development Consent Order (DCO). Gatwick are claiming that the increase in capacity of the Main Runway is not subject to any such scrutiny - but the majority of the increases (60%) comes from the Main Runway development!
The GBE Chair has written to all Councils around Gatwick to encourage them to take action. An increase of over 10% in passenger numbers constitutes a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) which should require Development Consent.
In the letter, the GBE Chair says: “..Councils can ask the Secretary of State to direct that Gatwick’s main runway development be considered an NSIP requiring development consent using his powers under section 35 of the Planning Act 2008. We urge you to do so. Such action would impose no additional burdens on your Council, but would ensure that the consequences of Gatwick’s growth were properly scrutinised and that you, and the residents you represent, have a voice.”
The letter also includes an annex containing further advice on legal, policy and possible actions.
We are very grateful to the GBE team who have done such a thorough preliminary job on behalf of all those subject to the effects of Gatwick’s actions.
You can download the letter using the button here:
Coalition to challenge Gatwick’s ambitious Master Plan for massive expansion
Statement from GACC:
“Under the banner Gatwick’s Big Enough (GBE) community groups around Gatwick have joined forces with GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) to call Gatwick to account over their Master Plan growth proposals.
The airport plans to grow to be the size of Heathrow today, with an increase in flights in the next 10 years to 390,000 pa (1,050 or more per day), and passenger numbers to 70 million passengers per year (190,000 or more per day).
By contrast the current numbers are around 283,000 flights in 2018, and 46 million passengers. That growth will bring increased misery to thousands through noise, pollution and impacts on local infrastructure. They also mean a massive increase in CO2 emissions caused by the additional flights estimated at an increase of almost 1 million tonnes CO2 (circa 37% increase) per annum by 2050.
The new campaign group is already challenging Gatwick’s attempts to bypass full scrutiny on its main runway growth plans through use of the Planning Permitted Development processes. It has made a submission to the Planning Inspectorate for Gatwick’s use of its emergency runway to be fully used. It is also planning challenges to plans for a 3rd runway.”
GBE is in the process of establishing a Web site and funding campaign to meet the costs of the expert advice needed to challenge successfully Gatwick’s assertions.
GBE needs your support and funds to fight its campaign.
We will let you know as soon as GBE's Web site and funding campaign are up and running.
The Tunbridge Wells conurbation is not only the largest and most densely populated area affected by Gatwick’s activities, but it also contains a large number of sensitive sites such as Schools, Hospitals and Nursing Homes as well as nearby historic buildings and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
You can see the final Master Plan (186 pages) or download it here:
Our local MPs and the local authorities close to the airport are seriously concerned about the infrastructure implications, too, and are not in favour of the proposals as they stand. The Master Plan makes too little provision for the necessary road, rail, housing and other work essential to the schemes.
This is the Press Release issued by the Gatwick Coordination Group of MPs which includes Greg Clark, opposing the Master Plan proposals:
The Government published a Green Paper Consultation Document, starting the process which will introduce legislation that will determine aviation strategy for the next 30 years and more.
We are very concerned that the proposals give absolute priority to aviation growth over all other considerations, including environmental and noise issues. These are mostly addressed in weak and generalised terms. Economic issues are very important, but so are the short- and long-term health and wellbeing of the population and the Climate Change emergency.
The Consultation period was extended to Thursday 20th June, it will be very important to respond if possible. However, the Green Paper is a lengthy document (200 pages) so responding is far from easy. You can download the full Green Paper here:
Rt Hon Greg Clark, MP for Tunbridge Wells and Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, wrote to Stewart Wingate, CEO of Gatwick, in response to the Consultation on the airport's Draft Master Plan 2018. The Consultation ended on 10th January.
We think that Greg expresses the concerns of the constituency very well. You can read and download his letter here:
This ambitious project involves the major restructuring of the airspace above SE England by the Department for Transport and Civil Aviation Authority. The area to be considered runs from Exeter in the West to Norwich and the East Coast. It is a long-term project, intended for implementation around 2024 and to last until 2070. The process starts with airspace above 9,000ft, and will progressively involve integrating those plans with the flight patterns required by all the airports in the area. Active Community involvement starts in the later stages.
We attended a presentation at Gatwick on 3 November. A Briefing Paper was published which explains the plans, you can see and download it here.
This plan will replace existing arrangements in due course, we think that it will offer real improvements but there will inevitably be issues such as the concentration of flight paths that will have to be addressed.