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Last Updated: Friday, 2 May, 2003, 14:42 GMT 15:42 UK
Campaigners rival Gatwick display
Part of the Gatwick Airport expansion plans
Villagers near the airport are worried about the expansion plans

An exhibition outlining plans for new runways at Gatwick and staged by the government now has a rival set up by campaigners opposed to the scheme.

The Department for Transport put up its display of the Gatwick plans, which is one of a number of options for airports in the South East, at the Gatwick Hilton Hotel on Friday.

But members of a group opposed to expanding the airport managed to hire out a room in the same hotel and hold a rival display.

Campaigners do not want to see the runways built claiming homes will have to be destroyed and nearby villages will be badly affected.

It is everybody's problem
Peter Barclay, Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign

Peter Barclay, from the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, said: "I think we are right. We are accused of being nimby but it isn't just our backyard it is the whole country's backyard.

"There's the pollution aspects, the contribution aviation makes to green house gases.

"There is the taxation implications. It is everybody's problem."

Initially the government did not include Gatwick in the consultation document which covers the future of air services over the next 30 years.

Instead, proposals to expand Standsted Airport or build a new airport at Cliffe were put forward as options.

But a consortium of councils including Kent County Council and Medway Council won a High Court judgment in November 2002 which ruled Gatwick should be included.

The exhibition at the Hilton will be on display until Saturday.

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