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News - 5 March 2005
Planes stacked up on the (single) runway

Are Gatwick expansion figures just scaremongering?

Opponents of the expansion of Gatwick airport are claiming that a new town the size of Crawley would have to be built to accommodate workers if a second runway is allowed. But are they just scaremongering?

The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) says a second runway would create 25,000 new jobs, and a town of around 100,000 people would be needed but business observers feel that the accuracy of their figures is open to question. The GACC are concerned that, if a second runway is built it will urbanise and change the character of the countryside around Gatwick. The warning comes as Gatwick prepares to publish its Master Plan, detailing how it will remain a viable business and increase capacity. The Master Plan is expected to address the limitations imposed on the airport by the government decision not to allow further development until after 2019.

A variety of business organisations including The Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership (BHEP) and Sussex Enterprise are in favour of the second runway and feel that the agreement with west Sussex County Council to restrict development should be renegotiated. Gatwick is the busiest single runway airport in the world and there are well-founded worries that some companies will relocate out of the region if it isn’t developed. Gatwick is also a major driver of the sub-regional economy in the south-east and has important employment implications for many towns and cities including Brighton & Hove. Under the Government's plans, a second runway could be built at Gatwick after 2011 if the suburbs surrounding Heathrow are ruled too polluted for further expansion.

Read related items on:
Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership
Sussex Enterprise
West Sussex County Council

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