Opposition to third runway at Heathrow could be good for Sussex

To the uninitiated, the Heathrow Airport expansion plans look a positive step forward for the nation.

Ian Hart
Ian Hart

A third runway will potentially bring thousands of new jobs and increased import and export business with upgraded freight facilities.

Detailed government reports found that Heathrow was preferred to Gatwick, ratified in a parliamentary vote with an emphatic majority.

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So, really, it’s a ‘no-brainer’? Well, actually, no.

The level of opposition to the plans is both extensive and clearly organised, with reports of affected London councils, Greenpeace and other impacted parties, including a large number of local residents prepared to embark on a legal challenge in the courts.

Even high-profile detractor Boris Johnson, who had previously stated he would lay down in front of the bulldozers in protest, was absent from Westminster and not in the position to vote for or vote against the Government, which might have raised questions about his position as Foreign Secretary.

With an extremely time-consuming and possibly destructive battle in prospect, is it still no too late to re-examine the prospect of Gatwick being the approved choice instead?

At the time that Heathrow initially got the nod, many experts stated that Gatwick was the better option.

Locally for Sussex, it would certainly have a positive impact on the all-important job market.

And, clearly, if these supposed experts felt Gatwick was the way forward, maybe there is time for a change?

Mrs Thatcher famously said she wasn’t for turning.

Perhaps, on this occasion, that might actually be the right thing for Mrs May to do.


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