CPRE Kent will be campaigning stongly against a new runway for Gatwick. The impact on Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and the Weald would be devastating – the noise, the loss of tranquillity in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the congestion and the pressure for more and more housing to cater for the 90,000 jobs which it claims would be created.
With two runways, Gatwick could handle 560,000 air traffic movements a year, compared to 250,000 a year at present. At busy times of day now aircraft take off or land at a rate of nearly one a minute – with a new runway it would be doubnearly two a minute.
“We do not have the road or rail capacity to cope with the additional passengers,” said CPRE Kent Director Hilary Newport. “It could severely affect people’s quality of life in West Kent because of the additional noise, the congestion, the pressure to build on greenfield sites and the loss of tranquillity in some of our most beautiful areas.”
We believe there is enough existing runway capacity at British airports to accommodate the demand for flights. The South East also has excellent rail and ferry links to the continent and use of these should be maximised.
We also believe that to focus aviation growth on London, which already has so many runways, is wrong for the UK. It will cause great pressure to build on greenfield sites and it will reinforce the North South divide.
On November 22nd we joined colleagues from CPRE Sussex and CPRE Surrey at a Gatwick Campaign meeting, attended by all the interested parties including five MPs and many local councillors. We are heartened that the Leader of Kent County Council Paul Carter has now come out in opposition to the second runway and airport expansion because of the impact on people living in West Kent..
We will be lobbying MPs and councillors to oppose the plans. We will respond to the Airports Commission consultation paper. And we will continue to campaign against the noise and loss of tranquillity caused by damaging flight paths.
We will be working together with some of the many groups opposed to Gatwick:
Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC)
CAGNE (Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions) East based in the area around Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells.
HWPAAG (The High Weald Parishes Aviation Action Group) consisting of eight parishes In the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty all adversely affected by aircraft noise. (Chiddingstone, Hever, Leigh and Penshurst Parish Councils)
Gatwick Obviously Not
WAGAN (Weald Action Group Against Noise)
December 3rd 2014