Council expresses concerns in response to the Gatwick Airport Northern Runway Project Statutory Consultation

03 Dec 2021

Horsham District Council has officially responded to the public consultation regarding the potential development of the northern runway at Gatwick Airport. This would see a significant expansion at the airport.

In responding to the consultation, the Council has raised very significant concerns with several aspects of the proposals, which it has asked Gatwick Airport Ltd to explore in further detail.

Commenting on the overall northern runway project Horsham District Council Cabinet Member for Planning and Development Cllr Lynn Lambert said:

Whilst we recognise that Gatwick Airport contributes to the economic success of this region, the proposals for the expansion of the runway have the potential to negatively impact Horsham District in a number of ways.

We have asked that Gatwick Airport look again at their justification for the proposals, improve the evidence base used to inform their application, and improve their consideration of the impacts of any development on Horsham District.  We are also raising concerns about the effectiveness and quality of the public consultation.

We therefore ask that these negative impacts are much more fully considered in any future proposals.

Specific issues raised by the Council include:

  • Improved and more timely engagement by Gatwick Airport Ltd with Horsham District residents, businesses and officers of the Council about the proposals and their impacts.
  • More robust evidence is required regarding the actual need for expansion of the airport, taking account of the proposed expansion of other airports in the South East, including Heathrow Airport.
  • More detail is needed as to how the proposals will change aircraft movement over the District and what impact this will have on our residents. The data appears to indicate there is significant potential to increase flights over residents of Horsham District.
  • There needs to be improved consideration of environmental impacts of the proposals including greater commitment to carbon and climate change issues, and improvements to the consideration of air quality and the impact of the proposals on local roads.
  • Although Gatwick is outside the area of Sussex affected by the water neutrality Position Statement from Natural England, the airport remains in a water stressed area, and the impact of the development on water supply needs greater consideration.

The Council has expressed that it wishes to work more positively and proactively with Gatwick Airport Ltd on its application for development consent for the northern runway proposals, so that it can meaningfully engage in the application process.

View the full response to the consultation