The long-running debate over airport expansion in the South East – pitting Heathrow against Gatwick – is heating up again as a final decision over which hub will get the go ahead is expected soon.
Gatwick chiefs have said that the construction of a second runway at their site will create 120,000 new jobs and contribute £1.73 billion a year to the local economy – but what will the implications be for neighbouring homeowners in Surrey and West Sussex?
Campaigners against the expansion at Gatwick have said, if granted, the second runway will have a detrimental economic, social and environmental impact on communities – and have cited an increase noise pollution as a specific factor affecting house prices.
Meanwhile, Gatwick has said the inevitable growth in housing that would come as a result of the expansion will be a benefit, and new homes would be spread “more evenly” through the region and London.
Partner at Roger Coupe estate agents in Cranleigh (which has served the Surrey/West Sussex border area for 25 years), James Britton, believes that only time will tell exactly what would happen to the property market in the surrounding areas of Gatwick.
Britton commented: “The disruption building work could have, and the concerns about increased noise from extra flights, may impact the market. But equally having a bigger transport hub on your doorstep could be a massive boost for house prices.
“It is difficult to predict what effect a Gatwick expansion could have until more specific details are revealed, which are likely to only come about if it gets the go ahead. But we are lucky to be in a desirable area where house prices have remained steady despite the recent ups and downs of the UK’s economy.
“When a decision is finally made it will be months, maybe years, before expansion work begins at either airport. Until then other factors, including Brexit, are likely to have a more immediate effect on the property market.”