Farnborough Airport’s expansion plans, aiming to increase annual flights from 50,000 to 70,000 by 2040, have met significant opposition from South West Surrey MP and chancellor Jeremy Hunt and East Hampshire District Council.
Following a “detailed meeting” with Farnborough Airport CEO Simon Geere, Mr Hunt expressed his concern about the potential impact on residents living under the flightpath.
He questioned the necessity of more than doubling weekend flights and the lack of compromise in the proposed plans, and on Wednesday shared his full response to the consultation on social media platform X (formerly Twitter).
In it, Mr Hunt says the increase of weekend flights in particular is "something I completely understand local people under the flightpath find unreasonable and a severe imposition".
He added: "Many residents have referred to an erosion of their mental health and feel that the large increase in weekend flights would significantly negatively impact them. I therefore find this element of the consultation proposal hardest to reconcile."
Local objections to the airport plans were further emphasised in a report submitted by East Hampshire District Council to its cabinet on Thursday.
The council raised various concerns, including the potential adverse effects on the environment, noise and pollution impact on settlements, and the negative consequences for the local economy.
The report highlighted conflicts with the council’s Climate and Environment Strategy 2020-2025 and net-zero ambitions.
East Hampshire District Council’s cabinet recommended noting the consultation proposals, expressing “strong objections” to the operational changes, and urged a full assessment of the impacts before making a decision.
The council emphasised the potential harm to quality of life, the local economy and the environment, calling for direct involvement in the future engagement and consultation process.
The deadline for responses to the airport consultation expired on Wednesday, October 18.