Report by the Director of Highways, Transport and Planning.
The Chairman of the Communities, Highways and Environment Scrutiny Committee will be invited to speak for up to three minutes to provide views on the Gatwick Northern Runway consultation response report.
Each of the main minority group leaders will be invited to speak for up to three minutes each on the Gatwick Northern Runway consultation response report.
The Cabinet will then discuss the report and any proposals prior to taking any decision.
Following consideration of the report, Cabinet resolved:
(a) to approve the comments in paragraphs 2.36-2.98 of the report and the detailed comments on the PEIR in Appendix C of the report as the County Council’s formal response to the consultation on the Northern Runway Project;
(b) to authorise the Director of Highways, Transport and Planning to respond to any further stages of pre-submission consultation and to make minor or technical changes to the pre-submission in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change – in support of the formal response approved under (a);
(c) if an application for a Development Consent Order is submitted, authorises the Director of Highways, Transport, and Planning to:
(i) approve the County Council’s ‘adequacy of consultation’ response;
(ii) prepare and submit the County Council’s written representation and Local Impact Report, and to negotiate with the applicant on the DCO requirements, any S106 Agreement, and the preparation of a Statement of Common Ground – all in support of the formal response approved under (a); and
(iii) attend the examination hearings and answer the Examining Authority’s questions in support of the County Council’s position; and
The call-in deadline is 25 November 2021.
UPDATE – Wednesday 17 November 2021
Following approval by Cabinet, the Director of Highways, Transport and Planning, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, has made some minor changes to the Northern Runway Project report and to Appendix C (detailed comments on PEIR) for the reasons set out in the Schedule of Post-Cabinet Changes.
28.1 Cabinet considered a report by the Director of Highways, Transport and Planning. The report was introduced by Cllr Deborah Urquhart, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change who outlined the council’s response to Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) on the consultation for the permanent use of the standby runway. Whilst the council would continue to engage with GAL on the process, the Council could not support the proposal due to issues with air and noise pollution, required housing and related infrastructure, the basis of passenger forecast and the impact on the natural environment. Cllr Urquhart added there was a proposed amendment to recommendation b) which would enable delegation to officers to make minor or technical changes to the submission on the basis of further input or information being received.
28.2 Cllr David Britton, Chairman of Communities, Highways and Environment Scrutiny Committee provided feedback from a TFG which met on 10 November to consider the matter. He advised the TFG were in broad agreement with the response and, whilst they did recognise the potential significant economic benefits, the lack of sufficient evidence underpinning the consultation proposal was disappointing and relied upon optimistic or even unrealistic assumptions. The TFG was further disappointed that GAL had adopted a ‘do minimum’ approach to mitigation.
28.3 Cllr Kirsty Lord, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group considered the proposal to be unsustainable and that GAL hadn’t shown the development to be necessary. Cllr Lord highlighted the council’s Climate Change strategy which indicated support for sustainable business whereas Gatwick brings increased emissions and air quality impacts.
28.4 Cllr Caroline Baxter, Leader of the Labour Group agreed with the response not to support the proposal for the reasons of a lack information from GAL and little justification for proposals or consideration for the environment and climate change.
28.5 The following points were made by Cabinet Members in discussion:
Ø Cllr Bob Lanzer highlighted that this was not a planning application and noted that without the northern runway, there was a growth projection figure. He added the safeguarded land should be used for more sustainable purposes which still boost the economy of the county.
Ø Cllr Duncan Crow highlighted the importance of Gatwick to the county but that there was not enough evidence to allay concerns at the current time. Greater expansion at Gatwick would exacerbate pressures already felt, such as housing, however continuing a constructive dialogue with GAL is important.
Ø Cllr Jeremy Hunt advised he could not support the project on the basis of the preliminary environmental consultation document.
Ø Cllr Jacquie Russell highlighted issues created by the airport currently such as highly congested roads, increased flight paths and low flying aircraft but that the airport was a major employer for many residents and the dialogue should continue.
Ø Cllr Joy Dennis agreed that many residents were reliant on the Gatwick diamond, but that the papers did not show a credible need for expansion, nor did they adequately consider the impact on the environment.
Ø Cllr Steve ... view the full minutes text for item 28