September 2021 – Gatwick North Runway Project – Consultation

The Consultation process for Gatwicks proposed expansion through iuse of the North runway is open. The proposal can be accessed vai the Gatwick Airport website through Gatwick Airport Future Plans

There is a questionnaire associated with this proposal that can be completed and submitted. Whilst the Parish Council will respond to the proposal it is very important that Parishioners also respond, the closing date for the consultation is 1st December 2021


November 2019 – Act now before its to late! Have your say within 2019, read on

Growth at Gatwick – Proposed use of the emergency runway and increased use of the main runway


A legal agreement which prevents the airport from using both existing runways simultaneously has now expired. Gatwick released its final Master Plan in July 2019, having put out a draft for consultation a year ago. It proposed to make use of its emergency runway for regular departures.

The plans envisage a 40 per cent increase in flights and a 53 per cent increase in passenger numbers from 45.7 million in 2017-18 to 70million by 2032. The concern is that the proposed expansion will have serious noise, potential climate and congestion impacts.

Cowden Parish Council responded to this concern through the consultation process which was open to everyone, details were provided through the PC Website and the ‘Cowden Matters magazine’.

Current Status

Gatwick is applying for a Development Consent Order to allow it to use both existing runways, but 60% of the additional traffic (the 40% growth) will come from more intensive use of the main runway. However, the use of a Development Consent Order is very different and we believe that these plans should be fully reviewed through an Independent Planning Process not through a Development Consent Order.

Issues are related to overflight and the aircraft noise impacting a swathe of communities across the South East further impacting on the Parish of Cowden. The airport’s Master Plan markets the proposal. However, we are concerned because

  • Aircraft noise – The Master Plan identifies that there will be more flights but emphasise that that although there will be more aircraft they will be quieter.
  • Aircraft noise – Aircraft noise is being measured as an average, not the peak noise as the aircraft passes overhead disturbing us.
  • Aircraft Noise – Cowden is closer to Gatwick than some of our neighbouring parishes to our East. Approaching aircraft over Cowden are typically 1,200 to 1,500 feet lower than over our adjacent parishes further out from the ILS approach point and hence comparatively significantly noisier. The same rational applies to departing aircraft.
  • Respite – Provided as mitigation to Aircraft noise within the expansion plan. However, Cowden Parish Council are still concerned that this has introduced aircraft movements, hence noise, over a wider area and with time the increased flights will be ‘infill’ these new areas.
  • Aircraft emissions – It has been estimated that the expansion would result in 1millon tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.


  • The proposed substantial growth at Gatwick through increased utilisation of the main runway and use of the Emergency runway to support commercial flights will cause a very significant impact to the surrounding area through, but not limited to: Implementation of and the impact of the required supporting infrastructure and resulting environmental impacts from increased aircraft movements as well as the almost doubling of passenger movements. The further detrimental impact to the quality of life of persons already affected by aircraft noise.
  • Gatwick Airport should be subject to a full assessment of all the impacts of the proposed growth plans, including public consultation covering all aspects associated with that Growth. That growth on this scale without scrutiny is considered to be contrary to Government policy which requires major growth at all airports to be judged by the relevant planning authority, taking careful account of all relevant considerations, particularly economic and environmental impacts and proposed mitigations.
  • That all necessary measures to ensure that Gatwick’s main runway growth plans are brought within the scope of a robust, independent planning process are taken.

What can we do?

Act now before its to late! Have your say

As a minimum we need as many Parishioners as possible to raise these concerns, and any others you may have to:

Secretary of State for Transport, The Rt Hon Grant Shapps -Transport.Secretary@dft.gov.uk

Kent County Council, Roger Gough –  roger.gough@kent.gov.uk

Member of Parliament, Tom Tugendhattom.tugendhat.mp@parliament.uk

Remember that your Cowden Voice counts.

Contact Gatwick Airport direct if you are concerned over aircraft noise or if in doubt contact your Parish Council Clerk.

In additon to the Parish Council’s engagement with the various bodies associared with aircraft noise the residents can also get directly involved:

Cowden Parish Council would encourage parisioners to do the same as well as contacting Gatwick through the links on this page to lodge noise complaints. Every complaint lodged counts, multiple complaints on one submittal cout as a single complaint, all complaints have equal weighting.

18 October 2018- Gatwick Master Plan

Gatwick sets out ambitious future growth plan, including routine use of its existing standby runway as part of their ‘’Draft Master Plan 2018.’’

This is major increase in flights, potential for further night flights and the associated disruption both bring. The current continuing use, growth and development of respite may result in acceptance of flights traffic and noise over a wider area near term (now) that is subsequently ‘filled in’ through the increased resulting capacity this would bring is approved.

There will be consultations open to all in the future so its paramount this is supported by all. Cowden Parish Council, as in the past, will respond to any consultation but the public can respond to.

July and August 2018 was an exceptionally ‘noisy’ time for both arrivals and departures over Cowden. The relative wind speed was very low so not a factor wrt which runway was used, the aircraft altitude (via the Gatwick Airport Aircraft Tracker) showed a much lower altitude too – have your say and use the link above to register any concerns!

Please contact the Clerk if you have any concerns on this matter