Gatwick Airport expansion bid will worsen affordable housing crisis

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Second runway bid will increase pressure on affordable housing stock in surrounding districts.

A Sussex-based charity says Gatwick Airport’s bid for a second runway will further worsen the surrounding area’s affordable housing crisis.

CPRE Sussex was responding to a question on affordable housing posed by planning inspectors at the ongoing inquiry into the airport’s expansion. It said the question of where new workers, many in low-income roles, could be housed was under-explored in the proposal.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The charity described this as a “critical issue” when many surrounding districts are already experiencing an affordable housing crisis. In February, Crawley District Council declared a housing emergency.

Photo by Oskar Kadaksoo on UnsplashPhoto by Oskar Kadaksoo on Unsplash
Photo by Oskar Kadaksoo on Unsplash

CPRE Sussex director Paul Steedman said: “Local residents are already struggling to afford housing costs and there is very limited new affordable housing being created.

"Gatwick’s bid for a second runway is likely to make pressures on housing affordability even worse and increase pressure for development on our precious rural landscapes.

"At the very least, a credible modelling of the impact on local housing markets must be shared, covering affordability and development pressure on the surrounding authorities.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

CPRE Sussex also highlighted recent data on homelessness and affordable housing completions.

In 2022-23 Crawley, Horsham, Lewes, Mid Sussex, Mole Valley, Reigate and Bansted, Tandridge, Tonbridge and Malling and Tunbridge Wells, reported combined homelessness figures of more than 1,500.

A total of 1,084 affordable homes were completed in 2021-22, of which just 197 homes were for social rent.

In 2023, there were 5,874 people on the social housing waiting lists for the six districts which provided data.