Gatwick Airport Expansion

Potential 2nd Gatwick Runway
February 2014 PH(N)RA Analysis

This document has been prepared to highlight the potential and specific issues of a 2nd runway as they might affect our Pound Hill neighbourhood. It has been prepared at this time to ensure that our members are aware of the potential issues ahead of the campaigning that will take place as soon as Gatwick Airport Ltd (GAL) produce their detailed plans in May and ahead of the formal consultation due in October of this year.

A recommendation, proposing which airport (Gatwick or Heathrow) should have an additional runway will be submitted to the Government by the Airports Commission after the next General election in May 2015.

The notes below are based on information “gleaned and/or interpreted” from The Airports Commission, GAL, WSCC and GACC documents and press releases.

Best Currently Available Map Of Potential Runway And Airport Boundary
This map does not show location of a third terminal or other on airport buildings.

EPSON scanner image

Key Analysis Points Relating To Pound Hill (based on the above map):

  • Airport boundary may potentially be approximately ¾ mile from Pound Hill North
  • A 2nd Runway flight path may potentially be less than ¾ mile from Pound Hill North as aircraft are not required to always take off directly in line with the runway with a wider airspace to enter immediately after takeoff and will be able to bear south as soon as possible. It is likely that departing aircraft could be crossing the Balcombe Road somewhere between Steers Lane and Radford Road.
  • With more aircraft in the skies and a 2nd runway closer to Pound Hill, there is the potential for more frequent, lower and noisier “go around” aircraft immediately over our homes.
  • The open areas on both sides of the Balcombe Road between Radford Road and the Gatwick Jnct 9 link Road are all shown as being “safeguarded” to potentially be part of the airport.
  • All of the areas highlighted for the expanded airport boundary are apparently within the overall Gatwick flood plain, therefore, potentially making both the airport and surrounding areas at higher risk of flooding in the future.
  • The Balcombe Road, Radford Road (including Railway Bridge) and Antlands Lane/Shipley Bridge are all shown as entering the airport boundary. 2003 proposals showed potential for the Balcombe Road being diverted out to and alongside the M23.
  • With the increased traffic on the M23/M25 it is likely that the existing “rat runs” from the A22 in the east will be more heavily used, all additionally converging on the area through Antlands Lane and Copthorne Road.
  • The north end of the proposed NE Sector (Forgewood) housing will be within one or two hundred metres of the airport boundary along Radford Road and almost under the flight path.
  • With the building of the NE Sector, the proposed alterations to traffic flows on the Balcombe Road and Crawley Avenue, together with increased traffic are likely to cause additional congestion all along the Balcombe Road from Maidenbower through to Antlands Lane.
  • If the 2nd runway is approved, then, perhaps, the builders may choose to downsize the NE Sector development, potentially leaving part of the area available for industrial/ business/ airport parking development.
  • To build the 2nd runway it is likely that many/most industrial/business units in and around James Watt Way, Priestly/Rutherford Way and Sterling Park (ScrewFix) may need to be demolished and relocated.
  • If the A23 between the existing airport underpass and the County Oak junction with Fleming Way is to be put in a tunnel under the expanded airport, it is possible that many of the industrial/business units along the north side of Fleming way may also need to be demolished and relocated. Based on a GAL comment that the A23 could be extended along the railway line, this could potentially allow a tunnel (or perhaps a surface road) to be built alongside the railway line with its entrance/exit/link in the area near to Fleming Way and Gatwick Road junction then potentially with a link road down to the County Oak A23 junction.
  • With the extra aircraft movements, twice the number of passengers, increased airport servicing, parking, etc. Pound Hill will, along with other northern neighbourhoods, be subjected to increased air and noise pollution and traffic congestion.
  • It is unlikely that Gatwick Airport Ltd (GAL) will pay for improved roads to avoid traffic congestion in and around Crawley.
  • The benefits of a second runway at Gatwick are clearly economic, in so much that it will bring additional mass employment (19000 airport jobs, many not highly paid) plus additional jobs created as new companies migrate into the area. In most “pro runway” discussions it is left unsaid that, as Crawley has minimal unemployment, currently 2.5% (approx 3% for young people), most of the jobs will have to be filled by a major labour force migration from all across the UK and the EU and daily commuters from other towns in West Sussex that have a much higher unemployment rate.
  • Commuting by rail into Crawley and Gatwick will put additional strain on the existing rail services, with further overcrowding on already overcrowded commuter services. The Brighton Line is already at capacity and the additional proposed travellers using trains to reach London, will just not be feasible, even with an extra platform at Gatwick.
  • Many people in Crawley appear to support a 2nd runway solely in the belief that it will bring ongoing employment to the existing families of Crawley and that if the 2nd runway is not built, then jobs will be lost, not realising the cost to theirs and their children’s’ own personal environment.
  • The potential reality, if a 2nd runway is not built, is that the cost to airlines using Heathrow is likely to be expensive and only the major global airlines requiring a “hub style” airport are likely to make their operational bases there, with all others looking for a cheaper alternative that Gatwick will be able to provide, with only a relatively small operation at Heathrow.
  • With the proposed additional 19000 new jobs, a report produced for WSCC and The Gatwick Diamond group suggested a requirement for 40,000 additional new houses in the Gatwick Area, which would effectively remove most green open land around the area, especially around Crawley, Copthorne, Crawley Down, Horsham, Horley, Redhill and Reigate. Copthorne, Old Hollow to Junction 10A Balcombe Rd and Crawley Down are likely local development locations, all previously identified for development.
  • It is unlikely that GAL will contribute much if anything to the development of the required new schools, hospitals, basic infrastructure, etc..
  • With a migration of people wanting and willing to take relatively low paid shift work jobs at the airport, it is possible that all of Crawley’s northern neighbourhoods could over the coming years be overtaken by “dormitory” style accommodation. A recent National News Paper reported that several areas immediately adjacent to Heathrow have a large migrant population some living in garden sheds and some on a shift basis.

If residents believe that a 2nd runway at Gatwick will be detrimental to their and their children’s lives, despite the promise of economic benefits to the wide area and not specifically to Crawley, then they MUST make their voices heard by:

  • Joining GACC to show support for their campaign,
  • Writing letters and emails to the press, WSCC, CBC , Local Councillors and our MP Henry Smith
  • Attending any community meetings, again to show their support.

and most critically

  • Responding to all consultation programmes that will be available during the next 6/9 months.

The folks living around Heathrow will be doing the same and are exceedingly well supported and professional in their activities.

If residents really believe that a vastly detrimental environment is worth the few jobs that will potentially be available for the children and grandchildren of existing Crawley residents, then perhaps they might consider:

  • Whether or not the next generations will really want to live in such an environment.
  • As parents and grandparents, if they would want something better for our future generations.

PH(N)RA will be monitoring all stages and steps and will communicate direct to our members.

We would welcome your thoughts on this issue.

PH(N)RA email

GACC Contact Details
phone 01293 863369

Wildflower Areas in Crawley

Crawley Borough Council are currently undertaking community projects to help plant wildflowers patches in various locations around the town.

We are looking for volunteers to help with the wildflower seed planting in Pound Hill.

The location of the wildflowers within Pound Hill would be the Worth Park Avenue and Worth Road junction and the seeds are the be planted on 12 April at 15:00.

The Memorial Gardens – June 2012

wildflower borders at the Memorial Gardens

Information including background and explaining the various planning options is given in the following document generated by Ruth Growney Community_Groups_Wildflowers_2014

For further information on volunteering please ring phone Ruth Growney 01293 438926 or
phone Pav Randhawa 01293 438441.


Do You Care?

Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign
What would a Second Runway
at Gatwick mean to YOU?

Gatwick Runway Option

At a glance

  • 40,000 extra houses(1)
  • increased risk of local flooding much more noise over homes and villages
  • more pollution leading to possible health problems
  • homes, villages and towns blighted by noise and road traffic
  • shortages of school places, hospital and hospice beds
  • more overcrowded railway carriages for commuters
  • grid locked motorways leading to more “rat runs”
  • areas of outstanding natural beauty blighted
  • listed buildings demolished
  • Sussex, Surrey and Kent countryside endangered

and economic benefits for who? mainly for new workers moving into the area, not for existing residents

Join Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign:
GACC is a volunteer organisation seeking to improve the environment around Gatwick, and to reduce noise and pollution. We believe that as long as runways lie partly empty all around London and to the North, there is no need to build a new runway anywhere in the South East.

The scale and cost of the infrastructure to support an airport potentially larger than Heathrow would mean a massive change to the character of the area, bringing urbanisation of green fields for many miles around.

GACC agrees with Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, RSPB, WWF and other national environmental organisations that any new runway cannot be reconciled with the UK’s obligations under the Climate Change Act.

phone 01293 863369

(1) According to a report by consultants commissioned by West Sussex County Council, Crawley Borough Council and the Gatwick Diamond business association.

Gatwick flood water … coming your way soon

By Cllr Brenda Smith, Crawley Borough Council and West Sussex County Council (Langley Green)

Flooding is a complex issue – Gatwick Airport Ltd already recognise that their flood defences are weak in respect of the North Terminal and have plans to improve this. They may claim that holding ponds can be created so that transfer of rainfall into local watercourses can be delayed. Much was said on flooding by Stewart Wingate and others to the House of Commons Transport Committee recently. They will have their work cut out, though. Gatwick has a long history:

1936 The area was prone to fog and water logging as a result of poor drainage due to heavy clay soils(sound familiar). This in turn caused the new subway (from the then railway station) to flood after rain.

1937 As a result and because longer landing strips were needed, the pre – war British Airways moved to Croydon Airport. Gatwick went back to private flying

1946 Gatwick Airport was officially decommissioned but continued to operate as a civil airfield, initially for a six-month trial period. However, persistent drainage issues affected the airport’s usage.

1950 Despite opposition from local authorities, the Cabinet decided that Gatwick was to be an alternative to Heathrow.

July 1952: The Government said the airport was to be developed, primarily to cater for aircraft diverted from Heathrow in bad weather.

2013/14: flights from the North Terminal were severely disrupted by flooding.

Now try to imagine that huge area to the north of the existing runway was duplicated to the south. The runway alone is equivalent in area to 100 football pitches, so imagine how many more football pitches the hard standing for piers and taxiways occupy now, and how many more with another 100 pitch second runway, plus all the associated taxiways, new stands, terminal building/s maintenance sheds and hangers. The enormous area to the right of the “two runway” plan over the railway line is for new car parking. The existing car parks are often totally full in summer. This is a HUGE addition to the run-off area. Rivers simply cannot contain the quantity of water involved in the sort of deluges we have seen and will increasingly see in the future. Sending flood water downstream just passes on the problem. The purpose of a flood plain is to flood, holding water upstream. Gatwick’s flood water – coming your way soon, look out Ifield, and Langley Green.

The current Gatwick started operations in 1952. It was in the wrong place then, it’s in the wrong place now, and it will still be in the wrong place in 2030.

Restoration project moves into second year

29th January 2014 – Crawley Observer
Report by Karen Dunn

Worth Park Cllr Duncan Crow (second right) with Matthew Campbell, Plamen Damyanov and Graeme Sargood of Bolt and Heeks

Further Work at Worth Park
The next stage of restoration work at Worth Park has started.

Crawley Borough Council is a year into a five-year restoration project at the park, funded by a £2.42 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Following work in the Victorian gardens, the project has moved on to nearby Ridley’s Court.

Built in 1882 for Sir Francis Abraham Montefiore, Ridley’s Court is the only surviving building from the Victorian mansion which once stood in the park.

It was originally a stable block, housing 18 carriages on the ground floor with an ornamental three-storey tower (formerly a clock tower) and a carriage arch.

Before being converted into homes, it was used as classrooms and dormitories for Milton Mount College, the girls’ school that occupied the main house and its gardens
from 1920 to the early 1960s.

Council contractors, Bolt and Heeks, will be on site until early May creating community rooms and exhibition areas as well as new toilets, storage and
an office.

They will also be supervising the restoration of the stonework and woodwork.

A council spokesman said: “The team has already uncovered some interesting original features including a brick floor, evidence of wood panelling and some original fireplaces.”

Once the work is complete, the council will base a participation officer at Ridley’s Court to liaise with schools and community groups, encouraging them to use the facilities in the park as well as volunteering for various projects and to take part in seasonal events.

Karen Dunn
phone 01293 845058