Tuesday, 19 June 2012


I live opposite a public house and under the flightpath of aircraft landing at Gatwick Airport.

The current pub landlord is doing an excellent job (which is more than can be said for the majority of  predecessors) in ensuring that disturbance to neighbours is kept to a minimum.

Aircraft noise is not too bad.

The problem is that people who cause disturbance would be rather put out if they had to suffer the noise themselves.  For many this is the problem with Nimbyism: double standards.

Of course one can understand the attitude of people who do not want a new railway at the bottom of the garden or a new runway at an airport: yet these very people do not think twice about travelling by train or aircraft and even less about the disturbance that is caused.

I invite my readers to consider what your attitude would be to a proposal which would damage your enjoyment?  It is easy to criticise when you are not affected by a scheme, but if you were how would you react?

How does one balance personal interest with the needs of the wider community?  The answer is that one cannot.  Clearly measures can be taken to reduce the impact of a new railway or runway, but no more.

The opposition to the HS2 railway proposal is being directed at the environmental damage the railway will cause and also at the business case for the scheme. Strong though these arguments are, nevertheless there is an underlying nimbyism.

One issue bringing out the nimby brigade is the issue of airport expansion in the South-East of England.  The current government was elected on a manifesto opposing an additional runway at Heathrow.  There is pressure for a 'U-turn' on that commitment.  A second runway at Gatwick or at Stansted has been ruled out in the past. The Mayor of London's proposal for an artificial island to be built in the Thames Estuary, 'Boris Island' is widely opposed, as are suggestions to increase capacity by developing Manston in Kent

It has been suggested that, with HS2, Birmingham airport could meet demands for increased runway capacity.



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