Francis Maude ‘disappointed’ by findings of Airports Commission

Horsham MP Francis Maude has announced his disappointment following the Airports Commission shortlisting Gatwick for expansion.

County Times June 6
County Times June 6

Mr Maude told the County Times: “The news from the Airports Commission led by Sir Howard Davies is disappointing for those of us concerned about a second runway at Gatwick.

“The airport plays a key role in the local economy. Many families’ livelihoods depend on Gatwick, and I have always supported its continued expansion as a single runway airport.

“However building a second runway would have huge environmental impacts, with noise pollution the biggest. It would place enormous pressure on the existing infrastructure which is already under stress, and add massively to the huge demand for additional housing development which local councils already struggle to meet.

“The work of the Commission is not yet done, and has so far only confirmed the need for increased runway capacity somewhere in the south east.

“It has shortlisted two options to expand at Heathrow, and one at Gatwick.

“I am especially pleased that more work is to be done on the option of creating an entirely new hub in the Thames estuary.

“The work of the Commission appears to have been independent and transparent.

“But the truth is that if there are to be new runways constructed there is no possibility of a recommendation at the end of it which does not frustrate and disappoint large numbers of people.

“I will continue with other West Sussex MPS to ensure that the voice of local people is heard,” said Mr Maude.

Meanwhile, West Sussex County Council has welcomed Gatwick being shortlisted for a second runway.