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27 September 2013, 09:20
Crawley's Councillors have decided not to commit to a decision on Gatwick expansion due to a current lack of evidence.
All 37 Crawley Borough Councillors turned out to the Extraordinary Meeting of the Full Council at the Town Hall Chamber on Thursday night.
The majority voted for Option 2 - to reserve its view on a second runway until more detailed evidence is released next year.
Council members made their decisions after taking on board a wide range of information including Gatwick's proposal to the Aviation Commission, results from West Sussex County Council's resident and business survey and public feedback.
Their comments will be passed to the Aviation Commission so they are aware that a future decision will be sent to the Commission once the council has considered more evidence.
Cllr Bob Lanzer, Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, said: "This is a difficult decision to make, it's not as simple as saying Crawley doesn't want a second runway because of the environmental impact or it does because it will support the economy; there's a lot to consider and a lot of 'what ifs'.
"In the end the majority of councillors felt there wasn't enough evidence to make a fully informed decision; we're still awaiting detailed analysis on pollution, jobs and housing for example."
The council says it is committed to working with Gatwick and other local authorities on the detailed assessment of runway options; work which will be required next year if Gatwick is shortlisted as a potential expansion airport.
The council will also highlight the need for the Airports Commission and government to provide clarity over safeguarding Crawley land in the instance that particular locations for additional runways are ruled out.