Reigate MP Crispin Blunt has joined with four fellow MPs to form a group against what they call the “disaster” of a second runway at Gatwick Airport.
The Gatwick Coordination Group has been set up by Mr Blunt with Mid Sussex MP Sir Nicholas Soames, Mole Valley MP Sir Paul Beresford, Tonbridge and Malling MP Sir John Stanley and Wealden MP Charles Hendry.
In a joint statement, the five Tory MPs said they had set up the group after a meeting at the House of Commons “to represent the serious local concern” at the proposals for a second runway at Gatwick.
The airport has been short-listed by the Davies Commission for the site of a new UK runway. Following consultation, Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) recently made its submission to Sir Howard Davies, which is yet to be published. Sir Howard’s Commission will make its recommendation on airport capacity to the Government next year.
But the group, which is chaired by Mr Blunt, has attacked the prospect of a new Gatwick runway on grounds including what they say is the lack of an adequate plan so far to provide the necessary infrastructure, of all types, to support the development.
The MPs stated: “We believe that the building of a second runway at Gatwick Airport would be a disaster for the surrounding communities and environment.”
The group continued: “The level of development associated with an airport serving nearly three times as many passengers as it does now, would devastate the local environment and leave the UK with its major airport in the wrong place.
“There is also no adequate plan yet presented to provide the necessary infrastructure, of all types, to support this development.”
The group concluded: “The size of the Gatwick site only lends itself to a single runway airport, serving as a sensible, competitive alternative to London's main hub airport. “While they pursue that objective, Gatwick Airport Limited will have our support, but this proposal is not in the local interest, nor is it in the national interest, and this group will work to prove that case."