One hundred and sixty-eight residential properties will have to disappear if Gatwick is given the ok for its proposal for a second runway.
The Davies Commission on the over the expansion of airport capacity for London presented its assessment of the main options today: a second runway at Gatwick; expanding the current runways at Heathrow; or building a complete new runway at Heathrow.
The Gatwick option includes the area where the new runway would be built: a big chunk of land just south of the airport, plus another portion to the west (map above).
Most of the area is part of the village of Lowfield Heath, which is within the district of Crawley. It is a mainly rural area, not densely populated, but still home to several retail and business units, as well as a few houses.
Business Insider UK went on a virtual tour of the area thanks to Google Streetview: Most of the buildings are warehouses and deposits connected to the activity of the airport. There are plenty of parking lots too:
It is not all commercial. There are also many fields:
The whole area is green. A quiet home in the countryside was probably what these families were looking for when buying these houses. They shall be demolished if the new runway is built.
The same could be said of this house in Peeks Broke Lane, which is about 2 kilometres from the airport. It will have to be demolished, if the plan passes on.
And even the local church of St Michael will be demolished. It was built in 1867 and it has even a dedicated Wikipedia page:
The Davies Commission has just the task of presenting the different options. It will be up to the Government to come up with a decision, but the consultation process has started.
It’s not all pastoral charm, however. One of the sites is occupied by the Travelodge hotel:
Others are occupied by courier express or transport companies, like Sea Space, whose Gatwick unit is in Old Brighton road, right where the runway is going to be built if the option passes:
A similar fate will occur to all the buildings on the same road:
Gatwick is the cheapest and easiest option, costing a minimum of £4 million less than any further expansion at Heathrow, according to The Guardian.
Heathrow though has the perk of keeping most of the traffic in the same location, a much better option for anyone catching a connection.
The consultation process closes on February 3 next year.
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