§ 43. Sir G. Touche
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will make a statement regarding the public inquiry into the proposals for the extension of Gatwick Airport.
§ Mr. H. Macmillan
Yes, Sir. It may perhaps meet the convenience of the House if I first state the terms of reference of the inquiry which have already been publicly announced. They are as follows:The purpose of the inquiry is to hear and report on local objections to the proposed development of Gatwick as a major airport. Local objections mean objections relating to the suitability of the site chosen for the purpose or to the effect of the proposed development on local interests. In addition, it will be open to objectors to suggest detailed modifications of the scheme on the site as now proposed.It will not, however, be open to them to question the need to provide a major airport to serve as an alternate to London Airport, nor to make proposals as to how that need should be met.Coming now to procedure, it is proposed to appoint an independent chairman to conduct the inquiry and to publish his report which will be submitted to me for the information of Her Majesty's Government. The name of the person appointed will be announced as soon as possible.