Gatwick road show ‘avoid’ rural areas
7th November 2018 – Crawley Observer
By Staff Reporter
Gatwick Airport has been accused of overlooking rural communities as it consults on its latest expansion plan.
Gatwick is holding a series of exhibitions this month, setting out ‘its expansion plans. The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has accused them of cherry picking urban areas while ignoring rural districts.
A statement from the group said: “Gatwick is to hold public exhibitions in Crawley, Croydon, Horley, Tunbridge Wells, Brighton and Horsham throughout November.
“However, no exhibitions are planned for the neighbouring districts of Mid Sussex; Tanbridge and Mole Valley which are all within the so-called ‘Gatwick Triangle’.”
CPRE Sussex Chair, David Johnson said: “People forget this is a relatively rural area. “The environmental obstacles for Gatwick are extremely serious and cannot be underestimated or ignored. And yet Gatwick has chosen to hold its consultation exhibitions well away from the rural areas which would take the brunt of this damaging proposal.
“Instead they have cherry picked unaffected urban centres in what appears to be a publicity road show which shows no consideration at all for the environment.
“The countryside can’t speak for itself and its voice is being completely drowned out in a shameful publicity drive which is all about profit. Gatwick expansion is not just about a runway – it is also about the millions of extra passengers, cars, new housing and infrastructure which would change the face of Sussex forever.
“Expansion comes with huge baggage that would destroy the very landscapes we seek to protect and promote for future generations. This scale of destruction of wildlife, tranquillity, dark night skies and clean air should be properly appreciated and responsibly publicised before any decisions can be made.
“These venues will be seen as highly inconvenient and quite inaccessible to affected rural communities and those living in the wider Sussex countryside.”
When Gatwick launched its 12-week consultation process last month, CEO Stewart Wingate said: “We would encourage as many people as possible to take part in our consultation process.”