Council’s letter to the Airports Commission interpreted as supporting Gatwick’s proposed second runway

Posted on 09. Oct, 2013 by in News

Cllr Joan Spiers, leader of Reigate and Banstead Borough Council has written to Sir Howard Davies (chairing the Airports Commission) to stipulate the significance of a growing Gatwick Airport to the local economy and local jobs.

Spiers ended her letter without mentioning her total support for Gatwick’s proposed second runway. But the letter cited “possible negative impacts of a recommendation by the commission to support growth elsewhere”, as well as encouraging Sir Howard that Gatwick’s proposal should be covered in the commission’s short list of preferences.

Spiers wrote that it would “ensure the fullest possible consideration of the benefits and impacts of a second runway”, and allow the council to “reach an informed conclusion about the proposals”.

However, when the council’s executive discussed the letter at a meeting, the importance of making a clear selection between two possibilities was questioned.

Cllr Julian Ellacott, Redhill West, said: “I am not convinced what it adds to the debate and believe it can be construed in any which way the reader wants to construe it. Gatwick Airport would construe it as a letter of support and I don’t think that is what is intended.”

Council chief executive John Jory said: “This council has not got a formal view yet on a second runway and in no way are we trying to say to the Davies Commission we are giving this the green light and being supportive.

“The intention is purely to make clear to the commission we think there is merit in taking this project forward for proper full evaluation and consideration.”

On the other hand, Green Party members, who are against to the second runway proposal, say they considered the letter did seem to “endorse” the expansion.

Comments are closed.