Coneyhurst group tell Nick that Gatwick noise is still an issue
Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert, and Conservative candidate for Horsham, Jeremy Quin, met members of the Coneyhurst Concern Group to hear the latest on Gatwick flightpath noise on Friday (20 March).
The group, convened by resident Martin Spurrier, provided an update to Mr Herbert and Mr Quin about their concerns of low flying aircraft and associated noise over rural villages. The hamlet, near Billingshurst, sits on the boundaries of both Horsham and Arundel and South Downs constituencies. They were joined by Sally Pavey from CAGNE (Campaign Against Gatwick Noise Emissions).
Coneyhurst is affected by noise from aeroplanes arriving into Gatwick which are now frequently flying over the village. The flightpath changes have been as a result of new pilot navigation systems and changes to the way Gatwick airport manages ingoing and outgoing flights.
Last Summer Gatwick Airport conducted flightpath trials to test the viability of doubling flights from 250,000 to 560,000 per year with take offs at 60 second intervals. The trials were indicative of what would happen if Gatwick were given the go ahead to build a second runway.
However, flightpath changes have been put in place, without consultation, and are now disrupting the tranquillity of rural locations under those paths. Other West Sussex communities also impacted by noise from lower flying aircraft include Pulborough, Wisborough Green and Kirdford. Mr Herbert separately met Ian Hare of Pulborough Against Gatwick Noise Emissions (PAGNE) on Friday to discuss the group's concerns.
Mr Herbert has consistently challenged the assertion that there needs to be any new Noise Preferential Route in order for Gatwick to achieve a modest potential increase in hourly movements as a single runway airport. He wants to see a dispersal of flight routes rather than a concentration of them to protect the rural tranquility of many villages.
The MP has also challenged the consultation process itself, saying that the 140 page consultation paper containing 244 questions was too long and technical and not widely promoted enough.
In January, Mr Herbert welcomed West Sussex County Council’s withdrawal of support for a second runway at Gatwick following his letter to the councillors urging them to vote against the expansion because of impacts for the county from noise and development.
Martin Spurrier said: “We are very grateful for the opportunity to update Nick Herbert and get the support of Jeremy Quin.
“A plane flying low over a peaceful rural settlement more than doubles the ambient noise. The same plane flying over an urban area, where the ambient noise is much higher, barely impacts the ambient noise at all, and is often lower.”
Jeremy Quin said: "Aircraft noise can hugely damage residents' quality of life. I was very grateful for what was a very clear and thorough briefing on the issue of flight paths and hope to work with residents in future on this incredibly important issue.”
Nick Herbert said: "I was delighted to join Jeremy Quin for this useful meeting with our local residents about Gatwick noise and, if he is elected as MP for Horsham, I look forward to working with him. We have a shared interest in protecting our communities who are already being affected by noise from planes, a situation which would become even worse if Gatwick were allowed a second runway.
"I was impressed by Jeremy's understanding of the issues. Horsham will need a strong voice in the next Parliament, and he will clearly provide that."
- Photograph – (Front row left to right) Martin Spurrier, Jeremy Quin, Nick Herbert, Sally Pavey, with (back row) members of the Coneyhurst Concern Group.
- To read Nick’s news ‘MP raises Gatwick flight concerns’ see http://www.nickherbert.com/news.php/540/mp-raises-gatwick-flight-concerns.