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Gatwick Consultations

Withyham Parish Council is aware through feedback from residents that many people continue to be concerned about the frequency of flights over the parish. You can register your concerns with Gatwick Airport here and advise the Parish Council on email at clerk@withyhamparishcouncil.org 

24.5.17 Consultation Response REFORMING POLICY ON THE DESIGN AND USE OF AIRSPACE - The Department for Transport are seeking views on an update to UK airspace policy to meet the needs of passengers, communities, the aviation sector and the wider economy. Withyham Parish Council's response can be read here. Deadline for comments 11.45pm 25.5.17.

2.7.15 AIRPORT COMMISSION DECISION UPDATE - As you will probably have read, the Airports Commission have recommended that a new runway should be built at Heathrow, not Gatwick.  If you are interested in reading the whole report it can be found at:www.gov.uk/government/organisations/airports-commissionThe Government now has to make a decision on whether to accept or reject the report and it is unlikely that this decision will be taken immediately.  The Airports Commission has also laid down some strong conditions on no night flights and pollution levels which may cause difficulties.

However with regard to Gatwick the narrowing of flight paths, height of aircraft and lack of dispersal of flight paths, which has caused distress amongst many residents, still remains.  The Parish Council will continue to keep open lines of communication to make our views clear to the relevant bodies and work with other Councils at all levels to make sure our voice is heard. 

If you have any particular concerns about these matters we would like to hear from you.  Please do get in touch with the clerks either by phone, e-mail or even a visit to the office.   You are also welcome to either attend a Planning Meeting or main Council meeting if you wish to express a particular point of view.

Alternatively if you wish to be more active in expressing your personal views then we suggest that you contact Gatwick or join one of the pressure groups details of which can be found on the Council website.

4.4.15 Please click here for a summary of response made by Gatwick to the Airports Commission's consultation.

3.2.15 please click here to read the Evening Standard' story that the CAA have told Gatwick and Heathrow that they had better start listening to the communities they will be affecting, and considering proper compensation, or risk failure in their bids for extra runways.Their comments are in direct response to the intense lobbying by the many campaign groups and individuals.

29.1.15 Please click here for Withyham Parish Council's response to the Airports Commission Consultation (deadline 3rd Feb 2015)

27.1.15 East Sussex County Council has voted to support Gatwick expansion

26.1.15 ESCCAN has written to ESCC to ask that as Crawley Borough Council have voted to oppose a second runway at Gatwick Airport, as well as West Sussex County Council, Horsham District Council and Mole Valley District Council (all of whom might have argued economic benefits for support) - how can East Sussex County Council continue it's support? ESCCAN hopes that it is now obvious that the  'clear economic benefits' simply do not stand up to scrutiny and that ESCC will vote to oppose the provision of a 2nd runway at Gatwick Airport.

23.1.15 Update included in Withyham Parish Council newsletterThe deadline, 3 February 2015, for responses to the consultation from the Airports Commission on the building of a second runway, is fast approaching. 

Together with a few of the neighbouring parish councils we have set up the North Weald Councils Against Aircraft Noise, the purpose of which is to provide information to the community through our newsletter, websites and facebook, to enable residents to make an informed decision about whether or not they wish to support a second runway.

As a Parish Council with responsibility for Open Spaces, we are only too aware of the need to preserve green spaces, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Ashdown Forest, for future generations. With the proposed expansion of Gatwick, the doubling of incoming flights and the narrowing of flight path approaches and its associated concentration of flights, there may come adverse changes to flora and fauna as well as to our own health and well-being. Kent and West Sussex County Councils, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and we believe Wealden District Council have opposed a second runway at Gatwick. East Sussex County Council is still supporting a second runway and had an extraordinary meeting on 27 January about the issue. We will feedback on the results of this meeting via our website.

If you do NOT want a second runway at Gatwick it is REALLY important that you say so through the Airport Commission Consultation by 3 February. This can be found on: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/381912/AC01_tagged_amend_25_11.pdf. However, any statement of opposition will be counted. Other information can be found on Withyham Parish Council’s website including our response.

19.1.15 Kent County Council and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council have opposed any Gatwick development.  Wealden District Council do not support any development at Gatwick.  West Sussex County Council are reviewing their position on 19 January 2015.  Just East Sussex County Council is still in favour, a decision taken by one councillor, Rupert Simmons, on delegated authority.   However ESCC is now going to hold an Extraordinary Council Meeting before Cabinet on 27 January to discuss their response to the Airport Commission so there is still time to lobby your County Councillor.

19.1.15 The deadline, 3 February 2015, for responses to the consultation from the Airports Commission is fast approaching. We are trying to unite the parish councils within East Sussex to be a conduit for information on Gatwick’s development plans.  Together with a few of the neighbouring parish councils we have set up the North Weald Councils Against Aircraft Noise, the purpose  of which is  provide information out to parishioners through our  newsletters, websites and facebook to enable them to make an informed choice about whether they wish to oppose or  support a second runway. 

Withyham Parish Council will be making a case to oppose the second runway. There are a number of other organisations which oppose a second runway and also provide information.   GACC, ESCAN, HWCAAG and Gatwick Obviously Not.  Put any of these names in search engine and you will find an enormous amount of information  regarding the potential expansion at Gatwick and the consequences that a second runway will have on your community. 

As a Parish Council we are all only too aware of the need to preserve the green spaces around us and the special protection that the Ashdown Forest enjoys, it is part of the heritage we want to pass on for our families.  We believe that the expansion of Gatwick may well mean that the health and well-being of all of us could be adversely affected through the doubling of incoming flights over the villages.  The lack of infrastructure to cope with an increase in traffic, additional thousands of staff needed to run the additional runway could overwhelm our communities, changing their character for ever.   All to turn Gatwick into a second hub airport which none of the major airlines have yet agreed to fly use.

If you do not want a second runway at Gatwick it really is important that you say so through the Airport Commission Consultation which closes on 3 February 2015.  This can be found on: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/381912/AC01_tagged_amend_25_11.pdf. If you do not have time to complete the consultation document then an e-mail to : airports.consultation@systra.com opposing a second runway is an option particularly if you can give your reasons,  but any statement of opposition will have to be counted.  The Parish Council will be putting in a full response.

29.12.14 The High Weald Councils Aviation Action Group (Kent Parishes) has produced the attached leaflet about the Airports Commissioners Consultation for residents in their parishes. It is on our website as information to our residents.

Contacts for Withyham residents: To email Charles Hendry, MP for Wealden please do so on charles.hendry.mp@parliament.uk. The Leader of ESCC is Cllr Keith Glazier, cllr.keith.glazier@eastsussex.gov.uk. The ESCC Councillor for Withyham is Cllr Francis Whetstone cllr.francis.whetstone@eastsussex.gov.uk, The Wealden District Councillors for Withyham are Cllr William Rutherford, cllr.william.rutherford@wealden.gov.uk and Cllr Johanna Howell cllr.johanna.howell@wealden.gov.uk. The Leader for Wealden is Cllr Robert Standley cllr.robert.standley@wealden.gov.uk.

12.12.14 UPDATE - GATWICK AIRPORT HAS TODAY NOTIFIED US OF a Public Discussion arranged by The Airports Commission to be held on December 16th in Crawley. Please contact the Parish Office if you require further information, we are trying to obtain the time and venue.


The Airports Commission has published for consultation its assessment of proposals for additional runway capacity at Gatwick and Heathrow airports. It can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/increasing-the-uks-long-term-aviation-capacityThe consultation presents the commission’s analysis of the proposals shortlisted by the commission last year: 2 for expansion at Heathrow Airport and 1 proposal at Gatwick Airport. It invites public comment on the commission’s detailed consideration of each proposal. This includes analysis of the cost of each proposal, the effect on communities of noise, property loss and construction, and the economic benefits and environmental impacts.

Sir Howard Davies said: Since our Interim report last year we have undertaken a huge amount of work. We have carried out a thorough assessment, across a comprehensive range of subjects, looking at the benefits and impacts of each proposal. We have not yet taken a view on which proposal strikes the most effective balance between the assessment criteria. It is important first that we provide an opportunity for this evidence to be examined, challenged and improved. This consultation gives everyone with an interest in the issue of airport expansion that opportunity. Responses to this consultation will be a valuable addition to our evidence base and will directly inform our recommendation to the government when we publish our final report in the summer of 2015.

The information included in this consultation will enable respondents to give their view on the strengths and weaknesses of each short-listed option. It also invites comment on the commission’s review of the underlying evidence and analysis. These comments will then be taken into account and used to validate and challenge the commission’s assessments, ahead of the final report in the summer of 2015.

During the consultation the Airports Commission will hold open discussion sessions for local stakeholders in both the Heathrow and Gatwick areas. The consultation will close on 3 February 2015. 

5 NOVEMBER 2014 UPDATE - Formation of North Weald Councils Against Aircraft Noise. Withyham Parish Council has formed this group with other neighbouring Parishes to represent the views of those Parish Councils and their residents with regard increase in aircraft/noise levels and the proposed second runway at Gatwick. The minutes of the first meeting are available here.


Gatwick have issued a press release stating that they have decided to delay any decision on the airspace changes which were consulted on this past summer.  You can view their press release by clicking on the link below.  


This means that there is not the imminent threat of an aerial superhighway, but  this is just a delay, not a cessation of their plans.  It would appear that they were alarmed at the intensity of local protest, so have decided to delay any further action until after the government have made their decision on where the airport expansion will be.

This delays the immediate threat of an aerial superhighway, but doesn't change the current situation with regards the increased intensity of flights and level of noise since the beginning of the summer.  It is still very important that people continue to complain about any flights which they feel are too low, or noisy.   

You can contact your ESCC councillor about any noise issues being suffered by their constituents. You will find the email address for the councillor serving your particular area by clicking on the following link http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/yourcouncil/about/people/councillors/find/az.aspx

East Sussex County Council have chosen to back Gatwick's Option 3 proposal for a new runway which will allow up to 95 aircraft movements per peak hour.  You can view the minutes of the meeting where Councillor Simmons made the decision this past June by clicking this link: 


What you can do now:

1. If you feel  that ESCC should NOT be backing a second runway at Gatwick, please address your comments to Councillor Rupert Simmons at cllr.rupert.simmons@eastsussex.gov.uk and Councillor Keith Glazier (leader of East Sussex County Council) at cllr.keith.glazier@eastsussex.gov.uk, please send a copy of your correspondence to our MP Charles Hendry, who is opposed to a second runway at Gatwick charles.hendry.mp@parliament.uk

2. Continue to complain about any aircraft which you consider to be too low and/or noisy.  If you can manage it, it's much better to log each one as an individual complaint.  Use the Casper tracker at http://flighttracking.casper.aero/lgw/  to find specific information about the flights you wish to complain about and please email your complaint to all of the following, always asking for a written response to your complaint: noise.line@gatwickairport.com, dftcomplaints@dft.gsi.gov.uk, richard.deakin@nats.co.uk, 

mark.simmons@caa.co.uk, cagencomplaintemails@gmail.com, amanda.farrow@nats.co.uk

3.  A great deal of the noise  is down to the A320 series of 'whining' aircraft. Easyjet are the worst offender as other airlines such as Air France and Lufthansa have already, or are currently working on, fixing the defect which causes the whining. Easyjet appear to be in no hurry to do so, stating that 20% of their fleet will be fixed by 2017!  It is the responsibility of the CAA to ensure that all airlines minimise their environmental impact so please email them if you would like to have your say about Easyjet's relaxed attitude to this problem: airspace.policy@caa.co.uk

3.  The campaign group GACC are holding a protest meeting on 22 November. The meeting will be at the Apple Tree Centre, Ifield Avenue, Crawley RH11 0AF.  The hall is adjacent to the Hindu temple and there is ample car parking space. Doors will open at 1.00 pm.  The main meeting will take place from 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm.  The (formal) GACC annual general meeting will take place from 4.00 to 4.15 pm.Four MPs, perhaps more, will be attending. The programme will be circulated closer to the time.  

Over the summer of 2014 Withyham parish Council has been responding on behalf of its residents to the gatwick consultation on Air Noise, and the Airport Commissioner's consultation 'Delivering New Runway Capacity: Call for Evidence'. These responses can be found on this page.

The Gatwick Air Space Consultation
Gatwick Airport want to reduce the broad swathe of flight approaches to Gatwick to one just 500m wide. It's being called a 'super-highway'.

What was Withyham Parish Council’s core message to Gatwick? A narrowing of the broad swathe approach to one around 500m wide is an unjust and intolerable proposal, for whoever ends up under it. Retaining the current dispersal of flights over a wider area is preferred. Please click here for Withyham Parish Council’s response to the consultation, which has now closed.

Please click here to see our formal complaint to the CAA about the consultation.

Airport Commissioner's consultation 'Delivering new runway capacity: call for evidence'

Please click here to see Withyham Parish Council's response to the Airport Commissioner's consultation 'Delivering new runway capacity: call for evidence'.

This discussion paper called for evidence on the issues which the Commission has identified as being of particular interest to the delivery of new runway capacity. The paper explored: legal and planning issues surrounding runway capacity; engagement with local communities including compensation and mitigation; the role of the state.

The deadline for this was 15 August 2014.

Withyham Parish Council continues to work with other parishes and bodies on this matter, please contact the Clerk for further information.