Not loving it in Cobham

MacDonalds meal.

A proposed new McDonald’s is “the last thing Surrey needs”; that’s according to residents living near the proposed site.

The fast-food giant has published plans to takeover the former Loch Fyne restaurant in Portsmouth Road, Cobham, but some people living nearby are not loving it – and want it turned into a community hub instead.

The vacant Locally Listed Building has fallen into a state of disrepair with McDonald’s saying a Cobham branch would “bring it back into active use as a restaurant to ensure its long-term viability.”

While the village of Cobham was recently named one of the most affluent communities in Surrey, residents have said that the Northfield Estate, where the restaurant is proposed, is one the lowest socio-economic area in the county.

Residents said they were “concerned” over the impact a fast food restaurant could have on people’s social, mental and emotional wellbeing – and have started a petition calling for a rethink.

“The area needs a community hub, promoting social, mental and emotional wellbeing for residents, McDonald’s is the direct contrast of that,” the petition read, adding ‘ the Northfield Estate is the lowest socio economic demographic in Cobham, and one of the lowest in Surrey.” The petition pointed to research which highlights a strong link between obesity and deprivation.

Burger giant has said it has received relatively balanced feedback with people welcoming new job opportunities

Other residents concerns include the site’s proximity to schools and the number of students who would be passing it on a daily basis. Many of the 391 signatories fear the restaurant, which would have space for 60 diners and car parking for 33 vehicles, would have on a significant impact on what was already a traffic hotspot.

The Portsmouth Road site is near the roundabout and Sainsbury’s petrol station, shortly before the road leads on to the A3. The petition says: “The Painshill roundabout is already extremely busy, with queues forming regularly to enter or leave Cobham; additionally it can be challenging to enter or leave the petrol station.”

One person wrote: “The last thing Surrey needs is another McDonald’s.” Another added: “I feel a McDonald’s would be detrimental to the village of Cobham.”

Plans for the site, which would be the group’s 15th branch in the county, are still in consultation stage ahead of being submitted to Elmbridge Borough Council for consideration.

McDonald’s has said it would “sensitively restore” the disused site and create “at least 120 new jobs”. The Cobham branch would also “address an identified demand”. A spokesperson for McDonald’s said: “We are encouraged that nearly 500 people have engaged with our consultation so far for a new McDonald’s in Cobham.

“To date, we have received relatively balanced feedback in response to the proposals, with local people welcoming the creation of new job opportunities, the diversified food choice in Cobham and the sensitive restoration of the vacant and under-utilised site.”

Image: harry_nl CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 DEED

Surrey Business Support Service

Cllr Matt Furniss, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP and Cllr Tim Oliver at the launch of Business Surrey

Business Surrey – a new Surrey County Council service offering free and accessible support to businesses across the county – has officially been launched by Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt. 

From start-ups to longstanding SMEs, Surrey companies of all sizes, sectors and stages of their business journey can access expert support for no cost via a new website www.businesssurrey.co.uk

The Council developed the offer to coincide with the transfer of strategic powers to grow the economy previously held by the county’s two Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). 

It means for the first time there is a single, co-ordinated business support offer for the whole of Surrey – something which is welcomed by local leaders. 

Matt Furniss, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Economic Growth, said: “Surrey has a fantastic economic story to tell – with more than 100,000 businesses, a highly-skilled workforce and world-leading sectors helping generate more than £50 billion a year to the UK economy. 

“But we know there’s more that we can do – which is why I am delighted we have developed Business Surrey, providing a simple and easy way for companies of all sizes to access the support they need to grow. 

“By being in a position to support businesses from day one of being handed these functions from LEPs, we are ahead of the national curve – something which can only be positive for our 1.2 million residents and 110,000 businesses.” 

Business Surrey provides free and accessible support for all businesses in Surrey - such as targeted bespoke supportfor high growth companies, highlighting networking events, promoting the county’s innovative sectors, and hosting a live directoryof more than 100 national and local initiatives. 

The new website also brings together of the business-facing aspects of the Council’s work, including trading standards, Greener Futures and Surrey Fire & Rescue. 

Business Surrey went live in April and was officially launched at Huskins in Godalming by the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt last week (Friday May 17). 

Also speaking was Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council; Shahid Azeem, the High Sheriff of Surrey; and local tech entrepreneur Terence Naidu. 

Representatives from Surrey County Council, business groups, universities and the county’s 11 district and borough authorities were among those attending. 

Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor of the Exchequer and MP for South West Surrey, said: “Surrey is a fantastic place to do business. The innovation and ideas of its residents, combined with sector strengths in creative industries, and tech and life sciences, make it a pivotal region in driving growth for the whole of the UK. 

“That’s why it’s great to see Surrey County Council using the newly transferred powers formally held by LEPs to develop a clear offer to support businesses. 

“I would urge businesses at all stages of their journey to contact the Business Surrey team to access expert help and support.” 

Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council, said: “Growing the economy in a sustainable way is a priority for the Council, which can only be achieved by working and engaging with our fantastic business community.  

“Growth is not only good for business; it also generates opportunities for local people, supports investment in our communities, and improves the lives and wellbeing of our 1.2 million residents. 

“We’re looking forward to continuing to work closely with our universities, businesses, and local authority partners to capitalise on our enhanced strategic economic role, as it is only through shared expertise that we stand the best chance of growing our economies.” 

As part of the launch, Surrey County Council has teamed up with Surrey Chambers of Commerce to hold a series of Business Surrey Roadshow events next month. 

The sessions will include practical ways for business owners to access support to grow their enterprises, as well as opportunities to connect with like-minded professionals. 

The events take place on: 

  • June 4 in Camberley – Login Lounge from 8am 
  • June 6 in Egham – Royal Holloway, University of London from 6pm 
  • June 13 in Horley – Langshott Manor Hotel from 8am 
  • June 21 in Leatherhead – Fetcham Park House from 8am 

Pre-booking for the events is essential. Secure your space via the Business Surrey website – www.businesssurrey.co.uk/events

Image: Cllr Matt Furniss, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP and Cllr Tim Oliver at the launch of Business Surrey

Big employment hub coming to Leatherhead

Leatherhead Business Park (Image Mole Valley Planning Portal)

The future of a possibly major employment hub in Leatherhead has been given a huge “vote of confidence”.

Four new buildings and 13 industrial warehouse units will be built in the north of the town after decision-makers backed plans to modernise part of the Cleeve Road  Business Park Research Area.

Three “rather tired” buildings, Alpha, Beta, and Cetec, will be torn down to make way for modern facilities that meet the “expectations of employers and businesses today”.

The decision, backed unanimously at the Wednesday, April 3 meeting of Mole Valley’s Development Committee, had widespread support within the room given the area was already earmarked as a business park by the borough’s planners.

Councillor Keira Vyvyan-Robinson (LD, Leatherhead North) said: “I am broadly in favour of this. 

“I think it is a sort of vote of confidence in the industrial unit there, and the site, and the future of it, which is a really good thing.

“I’m pleased to see investment being put into that area.”

Cllr Chris Hunt (Ind, Ashtead Lanes & Common) said: “I really think this application is good. 

“I love the mix in the size of the units, I think that appeals to firms throughout.”

He said the noise, lighting and access were all positive and added: “ It’s the right site at the right time.”

Among the comments received during the planning process were concerns over the loss of existing pedestrian and cycle access.

Councillors did urge the developers Stefania Chancerygate (Leatherhead No. 1) Limited, to keep these throughways, particularly for those who work at the site as they would benefit from easy routes into town  – but were told it was not a planning matter.

The meeting heard the site had good access to the M25 and that “strategically” this was where the council would direct this type of development “as it would boost employment and promote growth”.

The new plans include 112 parking bays, of which at least 50 per cent must have fast-charge sockets before any of the units are allowed to open for trading.

Cllr Phil Hammond (LD,  Fetcham): “The employment land strategically for the district is really important and this is a big area but it’s got rather tired and it’s not really meeting the expectations of employers and businesses today.

“It needs upgrading, it’s important employment, we need that in north Leatherhead and we need that in the north of the district.”

Image: Leatherhead Business Park (Mole Valley Planning Portal)

More than a Hollywood Moment for Surrey

Aerial view Shepperton Studios, Surrey

Amazon MGM Studios and Netflix have taken up residence in the completed expansion of Shepperton Studios. The development makes Shepperton Studios the second biggest film studio in the world with a total of 31 purpose-built sound stages alongside ancillary production accommodation, the whole site covers 1.5 million sq ft.

Chris Bird, Managing Director, Prime Video UK said, “It feels fitting that, ten years from the launch of Prime Video, we’re beginning our tenure in brand new facilities at Shepperton Studios. It’s so exciting that some of our most loved series and movies around the world will be made right here in the UK, including season three of our fantastic UK Original The Devil’s Hour. Shepperton Studios have long been synonymous with world class filmmaking, and we’re delighted to continue supporting and investing in the UK creative industries.”

Anna Mallett, Vice President Production EMEA/UK Netflix said, “The UK is our most important production hub outside North America. Today’s announcement reinforces our long-term commitment to Britain’s creative sector. Since 2020, we have invested over $6 billion in the UK creating shows like Sex Education, The Crown and Bridgerton here. The completion of Shepperton will allow us to expand our footprint even further, creating incredible new shows, jobs and a boost for the economy.”

Paul Golding CBE, Chairman, Pinewood Group said, “We’re incredibly pleased to have opened our new state-of-the-art facilities at Shepperton Studios and to see Netflix and Amazon MGM Studios making this long-term commitment to the studios and to the UK.”

Commenting on the announcement, Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council, said: “This is fantastic news for Shepperton and for Surrey as a whole, cementing our reputation as a region for innovation, creativity and top class talent.

“The fact that two of the largest content producers in the world have chosen Shepperton and Surrey for a global base speaks volumes for the amazing offer the county provides to businesses, large and small.

“We look forward to deepening our relationships with Shepperton, Amazon and Netflix in the months and years to come, so we can ensure our residents and businesses benefit from the investment, jobs and opportunities this brings.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said, “The decision by the two largest content producers in the world to choose their long-term home in the UK and base their global productions at Shepperton Studios backed by private sector investment is testament to the support the Government has given to the UK’s screen sector.

“I am thrilled that Amazon MGM Studios and Netflix have taken possession of 17 new state of the art sound stages at Shepperton Studios making Pinewood Group, the biggest studio complex in Europe.

“This support was further demonstrated by the recent £1billion package of measures for the creative industries announced in the recent Budget. The UK is now the second largest production hub, second only to Hollywood, in the world.”

Surrey’s vulnerable without expert legal advice 

Surrey legal aid desert

Surrey has become a ‘legal aid desert’, marked by a critical shortage of support services, leaving vulnerable individuals without expert advice on key issues such as, community care, education, and immigration. 

The Access to Justice Report, by South West London Law Centres (SWLLC), was launched at the University of Surrey’s School of Law Access to Justice Clinic on Wednesday, 20 March, by His Honour Sir Robin Knowles CBE, Chair of the Commercial Bar Association of England & Wales. Sir Robin is a member of the Civil Justice Council and chairs its Standing Committee on access to justice for those without means.  

The report highlights the need for accessible legal aid and representation and raises awareness of the challenges faced by vulnerable people in Surrey. 

It catalogues the gaps in legal aid within Surrey; it highlights cases where people have had to rely on non-legal advice services instead of specialist legal services. The lack of specialist legal advice is particularly acute in employment, education and immigration. 

The report shows that most social welfare advice is provided by voluntary or not-for-profit agencies, with Citizens Advice taking the leading role; however, there is a lack of specialist legal services. 

People were left without expert legal advice on areas such as: 

  • School admissions and appeals 
  • School transport 
  • Special Education Needs 
  • Community care packages and complaints 
  • Immigration advice. 

Stacey Edgar, Deputy CEO, South West London Law Centres, said: 

“At the South West London Law Centres, we have directly observed the significant difficulties faced by individuals and families lacking proper guidance on matters such as immigration and education.  

“Our findings now confirm that Surrey has limited mechanisms for accessing justice, signalling the urgency of leveraging insights from this new research to implement a strategy that addresses community needs.  

 “We’re pushing to fill these gaps because access to justice shouldn’t depend on where you live or what you can afford.”  

The report proposes new initiatives to improve legal support, including a Family Law Court Help Desk, an Education Rights Advice Project, and Immigration and Asylum Caseworkers in Surrey.  

Currently, the research proposals are transforming into a project to create these mechanisms in Surrey, and SWLLC is welcoming donations, volunteers, and partners to be involved in expanding access to justice to meet the needs of impacted community members. 

Liz Williams, Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Legal Education at the University of Surrey, said:  

“The Access to Justice Clinic at the School of Law understands that social transformation and legal impact is only possible through a collaborative approach. The Clinic has been a flourishing initiative since its launch four years ago and plans to expand in partnership with South West London Law Centres, local charities and legal professionals on a broad range of collaborations to help solve the access to justice crisis in Surrey.” 

Professor Veronica Rodriguez-Blanco from the School of Law added: 

“The School of Law is committed to placing access to justice at the centre of legal education in developing social sensitivity among the future lawyers that we are educating.”

Surrey Uni taking lead on future network security

Surrey University 5G 6G centre

A national effort is needed to train the next generation of the United Kingdom’s workforce in intelligent and resilient telecom networks, says a world-leading 5G and 6G expert from the University of Surrey.  

The comment comes as the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) announced that Surrey’s 5G/6G Innovation Centre will lead a new £8 million Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Open Secure Networks (FORT).  

Over the next eight years, FORT will train more than 50 post-graduate researchers, who will become leaders with unique expertise in wireless communications, cybersecurity, networking, and artificial intelligence (AI). Surrey’s future cohort will influence the roadmaps of future open networking and security technologies and their applications.  

In partnership with Queen’s University Belfast’s (QUB) Centre for Secure Information Technologies, FORT also enjoys support from more than 21 industry partners. These partners include: Amazon Web Services, Ampliphae, Angoka, AWTG, Catapult Satellite Applications, Codasip, Ericsson, Hewlett Packard Enterprises, HP, Intel, Interdigital, Keysight Technologies, Kyndryl, National Physical Laboratory, Nvidia, OpenWeb, Qualcomm, Rolls Royce, Virgin Media O2, and Viavi Solutions. 

Regius Professor Rahim Tafazolli, FREng, Director of the 5G/6G Innovation Centre at the University of Surrey and Principal Investigator of FORT, said:  

“I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to EPSRC for backing the Future Open SecuRe NeTworks (FORT) initiative. I am equally thankful for the support of our 21 industry partners and look forward to working closely with colleagues from Queen’s University Belfast. This powerful team has a unique vision, expertise, and mission of making the UK a powerhouse for future telecommunications. 

“In a world evolving at breakneck speed, our programme is designed with this dynamic future in mind. We’re committed to nurturing future visionaries and leaders with in-depth knowledge of advanced space and terrestrial networks, environmental considerations, and AI technology. The UK’s focus must now shift towards upskilling individuals capable of addressing the cyber security challenges posed by AI and take advantage of opportunities presented by societal shifts, environmental concerns, and industrial advancements.” 

Along with providing a world-class education with access to industry, FORT will create an environment for students to research new and better ways to build communication networks that are safe, reliable, and ready for the future. FORT is committed to conducting responsible, ethical research in cybersecurity, AI technologies, and future networks, with a strong societal focus. This approach is designed to generate world-class academic contributions and establish a pipeline of talent for the future. 

Dr Jesus Martinez del Rincon, Co-Director of FORT and Research Director of Secure Intelligence at CSIT at QUB, said: 

“With the FORT programme, we aim to create a community of 50 PhDs who will become the future, industry-conscious thinkers and leaders on secure, trustworthy and autonomous future network communications.” 

Along with Professor Tafazolli and Dr Martinez del Rincon, FORT will be led by: Dr Tim Brown from Surrey, who will serve as Director of FORT, and Professor Máire O’Neill from QUB, who is Co-Investigator of FORT.

Should we be going to…..?

surrey youth games activity

The Specsavers Surrey Youth Games is back. Following on from the success of the games last year, a wide range of activities are available in Epsom & Ewell again, including tennis, judo, swimming and more. The Games are the largest multi-sport youth programme of their kind in the South East, offering free local training for 7-16 year olds across Surrey, leading to a final celebratory event for the whole family. 

The Games are ideal for beginners who may not get the opportunity to attend clubs or are put off by the thought of competing against others. Supportive coaches will help participants join in, have fun, learn new skills, and boost their confidence. 

Registration is now open for the free training sessions which start after Easter and are aimed at those who live or go to school in the borough. Following the training, teams can unite for a family-friendly event at the Surrey Sports Park in Guildford on Saturday 15 June.

Councillor Clive Woodbridge, (RA Ewell Village) Chair of the Community and Wellbeing Committee, said “I’m so pleased that we are running the Specsavers Surrey Youth Games in Epsom & Ewell again this year. The initiative provides a fantastic opportunity for young people who are still building their confidence in sport to access training free of charge.

“I hope that everyone in our borough will take a look at what’s on offer and even tell friends and family about the initiative, so that we can ensure that as many children as possible can access the training.”

You can find out what’s on offer in the Epsom & Ewell borough and register for a place by visiting www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/syg

Mixed reaction to Hunt’s budget in Surrey

Jeremy Hunt MP deliverying his budget

In a significant development outlined in today’s Spring Budget, Surrey MP and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt confirmed the Surrey County Deal agreement, heralding a new era of devolution for Surrey County Council. This agreement, initially hinted at during last year’s Autumn Statement, has been the focus of collaborative efforts between Surrey County Council officials and the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Outlined within this agreement are several key provisions aimed at empowering local governance within Surrey:

  • Devolution of the Adult Education Budget and funding for Free Courses for Jobs.
  • Integration of Local Enterprise Partnership functions.
  • Transfer of new land assembly and compulsory purchase power to the Council.
  • Strategic oversight for the delivery of future rounds of UKSPF.

Furthermore, the agreement signifies an intent for further devolution from central government to Surrey, allowing for the deepening of devolution arrangements over time, subject to Government agreement. Notably, this agreement does not mandate any structural reform of local government or unitarisation, preserving the sovereignty of the 12 Councils, including 11 District and Borough Councils alongside the County Council.

“Local government and our local communities are best placed to deliver what Surrey needs. I’m pleased that the government is recognising that, with hopefully further devolved powers to local government in due course,” said Tim Oliver, (Conservative) Leader of Surrey County Council, expressing optimism regarding the devolution deal.

“This is a positive step to enable ambitious plans for Surrey’s residents by devolving control to Local government and our local communities, that are best placed to deliver what Surrey needs. Working with our Partners we can maximise opportunities across a wide spectrum of residents’ priorities,” said Surrey County and Epsom and Ewell Borough Councillor Bernie Muir (Conservative – Horton)).

Dr. Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive of the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU), offered insights into the broader context of today’s Budget announcements. “Our latest research found half of councils believe they could face bankruptcy within the next parliament. Council taxpayers are paying ever higher rates for fewer services…The Chancellor recognised market failures in children’s residential care and SEND support but councils will not feel that this is enough to counteract the cost increases they have faced in those areas,” Dr. Carr-West remarked, urging for a productive debate on potential solutions to the funding crisis.

Paul Lavercombe, tax partner at BDO in the South East, provided a business perspective on the Budget, noting the limited measures for businesses but highlighting certain provisions that may benefit taxpayers and stimulate investment, particularly in regional growth businesses. He said ““The Chancellor was under pressure to deliver tax cuts and while this wasn’t forthcoming for businesses with some hoping there would be a reduction to corporation tax signposted, taxpayers will welcome the national insurance cuts announced. Despite being pitched as a Budget for long-term growth, there was very little for business. The only obvious winner being the creative industries.”

Related reports:

Surrey County chief talks to the BBC

Epsom’s leader welcomes more power for Surrey County Council

Water company blind to Mole pollution?

River Mole in Leatherhead

A single Surrey river and its tributaries have had more than 4,500 hours of raw untreated sewage dumped into it by Thames Water already this year, according to a campaign group.

The River Mole River Watch (RMRW) , which is calling for clean water for the health of wildlife and people, tracks sewage outflows and storm discharges by the utility giant and said that February “saw the highest recorded duration of storm overflows of any month we have been testing so far”.

The group said the February figures topped the 2115 hours from January with the majority of the damage coming from the nine big sewage treatment plants.

Both Thames Water, which maintains over 68,000 miles of sewers, and manages 354 sewage treatment works, and RMRW said the pollution was more diluted than normal due to the heavy rain. Thames Water has also said it is carrying out improvement work across its network.

Campaigners though said the sheer volume of untreated waste meant the”absolute load” of phosphates would be “much larger during wet months”.

Posting to their website, RMRW said: “Some sewage works were discovered to be failing so badly that storm tanks overflowed outside the treatment works in a cascade of raw sewage that flooded footpaths and recreational fields. Despite the long duration of sewage overflows and perhaps contrary to expectations, our February pollution tests recorded some of the lowest phosphate levels in the 10 months of testing so far.

“While lower concentrations of phosphate are measured by our Hanna low range meters, the absolute load of phosphate entering our rivers will nevertheless be much larger during wet months. This is due to the long duration of untreated sewage outfalls added to the other pollution sources such as misconnections, road and farm runoff.”

Thames Water is the only firm to give live updates to its sewage overflows, or storm discharges. The data received from its monitors isn’t always accurate and only indicates rather than confirms discharges.The company says in makes the information immediately available  to open to allow customers to make more informed decisions.  Verified data is published annually.

A spokesperson for Thames Water said: “Storm overflows are designed to operate automatically when the sewer network is about to be overwhelmed which then releases diluted wastewater into rivers, rather than  letting it back up into people’s homes. We regard any untreated discharges as unacceptable, and we’re committed to stopping them from being necessary, with the assistance of our regulators.

 “We’re currently spending £34milion upgrading Crawley sewage works, as well as spending £23million improving our site in Burstow. These upgrades are due to complete in 2024. We’ve also started a £14million  upgrade to Dorking sewage works and we have plans to upgrade our Earlswood, Esher, Holmwood, Horley, Leatherhead and Merstham sites.

“Taking action to improve the health of our rivers is a key focus for us and we are leading the way with our transparent approach to data. We remain the only company to provide live alerts for  all untreated discharges and this ‘near real-time’ data is available to customers as a map on our website and is also available through an open data platform for third parties, such as swimming and environmental groups to use. We have published plans to upgrade over 250 of our sewage treatment works and sewers to treat the high volumes of incoming sewage and reduce the need for overflows  during wet weather.” 

Image: River Mole at Leatherhead. Jim Linwood. License details

Related Reports:

Thames Water left human waste to fester

Thames Water rebate

Thames Water among worst in country

Gatwick Airport Expansion

Gatwick expansion plans

The six-month inquiry into Gatwick Airport’s plan to double capacity is underway.

Airport chiefs at the country’s second busiest airport want to modify its northern runway so that it can increase passenger numbers to about 75 million a year on 386,000 flights.

It says this will help minimise delays, bring in about £1billion into the region’s economy every year, and create 14,000 jobs – all while staying within agreed noise levels.

It also has a carbon action plan for how the airport will be net zero for its own emissions by 2030.

Opponents, who staged a protest outside the Crawley hearing ahead of its February 27 opening, said the expansion will “have a devastating impact on both people’s lives and the environment.”

Also opposing the current plan is a coalition of 10 councils in Surrey, Kent, East Sussex that surround Gatwick.

Sally Pavey, chairs the Campaign Against Gatwick Noise Emissions (CAGNE) an umbrella aviation community and environment group for Sussex, Surrey, and Kent. 

She said: “If this application to build a new runway is permitted, it will have a devastating impact on both people’s lives and the environment.

“That is why it is so important that CAGNE are here – not just today, but every day of the hearing, with our qualified team of Kings Council, plus surface transport, aviation noise and air quality expert team, as well as supporting non-government organisations tackling the subject of jet zero and the environmental destruction of our planet.  

“This fight is not over until the Secretary of State for Transport makes his decision.  

“Whatever political party will be in power then, come elections, local or general, we hope that residents here today will reflect their feelings when it comes to the ballot box and the impact that aviation is having on our planet. 

“We could not have put together such a strong team, acting for communities and the planet, if residents had not put their hands deep in their pockets and donated to CAGNE.”

Crawley Borough Council, East Sussex County Council, Horsham District Council, Kent County Council, Mid Sussex District Council, Mole Valley District Council, Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, Surrey County Council, Tandridge District Council, and West Sussex County Council make up the consortium of councils opposing the plan.

They are concerned the proposals, as they stand,  fail to provide sufficient controls to noise and air quality levels are not exceeded.

The councils are also worried about how a doubling of passenger numbers would impact the transport network – and over the impact the huge surge would have on meeting sustainability needs.

The statement read: “We have been working together to ensure that if the proposal were to be approved, the required controls, mitigations and where appropriate, compensations are put in place to limit the environmental impacts and to maximise the economic and community benefits that should be sought from such development.”

Gatwick Airport said it was not taking part in any interviews.

Related Reports:

Gatwick 2nd runway sneaking in?

Gatwick expansion plans revealed

Gatwick to get 2nd runway?