England

Sevenoaks District Council opposes second Gatwick runway

A plane comes into land at Heathrow Airport on March 16, 2007 in London Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Gatwick and Heathrow both wish to build extra runways

A bid to build a second runway at Gatwick Airport has lost the support of Sevenoaks District Council over concerns about aircraft noise.

The council said it has given its official response to the Airports Commission, which is due to make a recommendation to the government about future air capacity.

A third runway at Heathrow is also being considered.

A Gatwick Airport spokesman said an extra runway would boost the economy.

The council said there was already "significant concern" over airport noise in the south of the district, especially from aircraft landing at night.

It feared any increase in aircraft would also lead to an increase in noise.

'Obviously disappointed'

Robert Piper, who is the council's cabinet member for planning, said: "We have carefully considered the proposal put forward by Gatwick.

"Taken on balance, we are not satisfied that the development of a second runway would be delivered along with a reduction in existing noise impacts and we are unable to support this proposal."

A spokesman for Gatwick Airport said: "We are doing as much as possible to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on local residents and we will continue to work closely with Sevenoaks District Council.

"While obviously disappointed at this decision, we believe expansion at Gatwick would bring a huge boost for the local economy for decades to come, including thousands of jobs, apprenticeships and opportunities for local businesses.

"At the same time, we will also do as much as possible to minimise, mitigate against, or compensate for, the effects of a second runway, including the impact of aircraft noise on local residents."

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