Campaigners have described the results of Gatwick’s public consultation results as “embarrassing” after nearly two-thirds of voters said “no” to plans for a second runway.
The results of the consultation showed 2,165 out of 3,304 respondents said they would prefer none of the three runway options put forward by the airport.
The stakeholder response to the survey was also overwhelmingly negative, with 40 of the surveyed 57 saying they also wanted none of the proposed runway options.
The results were presented to the Gatwick Airport Consultative Committee last week.
Brendon Sewill, chairman of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, said the result was “embarrassing” and also accused the airport of trying to conceal the results.
He also slammed the decision to exclude the 4,003 responses from the Woodland Trust but a spokesman for the airport said this was “industry practice”.
Mr Sewill said: “Even leaving out the Woodland Trust responses, twice as many people voted for ‘none of these options’ as voted for all three runway options combined. And that was despite the ‘none of these options’ box being difficult to find.
“Also, 761 people agreed that a new runway would benefit the local economy but 2,020 felt that it would not benefit them much or at all.
“These are remarkable results. They prove a strong and determined opposition to any new Gatwick runway.”
A spokesman for Gatwick said: “The airport’s expansion debate is of national significance but we are determined to be a good neighbour and listen to the views of those communities close to home.
“Expansion is always going to generate strong views but what is important is that the public consultation process has allowed us to understand the key areas that matter most to local people.
“As a result, we have been able to create a series of pledges worth over £250 million, which are designed to address these concerns and drive improvements to our plans.”
The Airports Commission will conduct a national consultation on Gatwick and Heathrow in the autumn.
The final recommendation on the location of a new runway will be made to the Government in the summer next year.