Plans for a second runway at Gatwick Airport have passed the first stage of the application process and will now be examined by the Planning Inspectorate.

Gatwick submitted plans to bring its emergency runway into regular use last month in a bid to expand the capacity of the airport.

After the plans cleared the first hurdle of the process today, campaign groups have re-iterated their opposition saying the runway will harm the planet and wipe thousands off house prices.

Tim Norwood, chief planning officer at Gatwick, said: “We are pleased that the application to take forward our Northern Runway plans has been accepted by the Planning Inspectorate and will now progress to the examination stage of the Development Consent Order (DCO) planning process.

“In coming weeks, the airport will let residents and other stakeholders know how they can register their interest in taking part in the examination stage of the planning process, so they can submit comments and feedback on our important proposals.“

Plans for the runway’s regular use would see thousands more planes using the airport which Gatwick says would bring in £1 billion a year to the surrounding economy.

The expansion would also reportedly create 14,000 jobs in the area, 3,000 of which would be at the airport itself.


If the DCO is approved, construction could begin in 2025 and be operational by the early 2030s.

Campaign group Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions (CAGNE) has once again slammed the plans as flawed.

A spokesman for CAGNE said: “Anything offered by Gatwick in the way of Net Zero must be seen as fiction and greenwashing.

“Yet again, the management chooses to ignore the emissions from planes and the ultrafine particles that are proven to come directly from the airfield, making the pollution zone to the north of the airport far worse.

“The planet cannot afford this expansion. We are horrified that a government planning inspectorate would agree to a second runway when it impacts the wellbeing and house value of so many residents, as well as the planet.”

Gatwick argues that cleaner and quieter airplanes and investment in sustainability will help to mitigate potential noise and air pollution caused by the plans.

The plans will now go through a “detailed and rigorous examination” which will likely take 18 months.

The examination will include experts and members of the public, including campaign groups, looking at the plans and giving their views.

Residents can sign up to be an “interested party” in the process, meaning that they can then give their views on the plans.