England

Gatwick second runway refusal welcomed by residents

Gatwick Airport Image copyright PA
Image caption Campaigners fear Gatwick Airport could still be in the running for a second runway

Campaigners against the expansion of Gatwick Airport have expressed relief that a second runway will not be built.

Despite intense lobbying, rival Heathrow was chosen as the site of a new runway to boost airport capacity.

Protesters in Ifield, West Sussex, said ministers had listened to the facts and that Gatwick's proposals were "flawed".

However, the airport's chief executive Stewart Wingate said it was disappointed with the decision, which was "not the right answer for Britain".

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"Gatwick has put forward a credible financeable and deliverable plan for expansion," he said.

"It is a plan that can guarantee growth and guarantee certainty for Britain.

"Our message today is that Gatwick stands ready to proceed when the time comes."

Image caption Sally Pavey said Gatwick Airport was on "the wrong side of London"

Sally Pavey, chairwoman of the campaign group, Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions (CAGNE), said local residents would be monitoring the reaction of the airport's owners.

"From the point of view of the residents of Sussex, Surrey and Kent, we are very much relieved, but we wouldn't wish it upon anybody.

"We are delighted they have listened to the facts, the facts spoke loud and clear that Gatwick's proposals were flawed," she said.

Ms Pavey said: "It's the wrong side of London and the Achilles heel has always been that Gatwick sits on one railway line and one road and the railway line cannot be expanded.

"So the congestion is there and it wouldn't have coped with not only the normal growth but also growth in passengers."

Peter Barclay, who has lived in the Surrey village of Charlwood for 40 years, added that he feared the threat of a second runway would never go away.

The extra noise, air pollution and the impact on the region's infrastructure would all cause huge problems, he said.

Brendon Sewill, chairman of The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) said campaigners would "remain on guard against any attempt to revert to Gatwick".

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