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A second county council has withdrawn its support for expansion at Gatwick airport, following a vote last night that reverses its original decision made in July 2013.
West Sussex County Council said Gatwick has not put forward enough evidence to “counter the very serious environmental” concerns from local residents.
In November Kent County Council withdrew its support for a second runway because of new flight paths.
At a council meeting on Monday the authority approved a 20-page document of improvements that it believes need to be made before any proposal to expand Gatwick is submitted to government.
Pieter Montyn, West Sussex county council's cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "The issue of a second runway at Gatwick is an extremely emotive subject and that played out at today's meeting.
"It was only right that all members of West Sussex County Council were given the opportunity to debate and put forward their views, and those of their residents as well. That's democracy.”
The council's official response is contained in 20 pages of improvements it believes should be made before any proposal to expand Gatwick is submitted to the government.
The Airports Commission’s long-awaited decision UK airport expansion is expected this summer. The three-short listed options include adding a third runway at Heathrow, lengthening an existing runway at Heathrow and a new runway at Gatwick.
Sussex council said “at no point” did the Commission ask respondents whether or not they agree that an additional runway is needed.
“"It asks us to comment on the methodology and evidence base of the Airports Commission's initial assessments, and to put forward improvements that we believe should be made. Our response contains a raft of improvements that we believe need to be made by both Gatwick and the government”.
The airport said it was “disappointed” with the council’s decision and believes expansion would provide a boost for the economy and create thousands of jobs and opportunities for local businesses.
“We will continue to work closely with West Sussex County Council to illustrate the benefits that expansion will deliver,” a spokesperson said,
“Gatwick is doing as much as possible to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on local residents.”