Residents around Luton fear airport development plans will increase noise

Luton Borough Council, the main shareholder of London Luton Airport , is considering
the airport’s future. At an Executive meeting, it said it wants to increase the
annual passengers to 18 million – almost double the current number, with a view
to increasing up to 30 million passengers a year in due course. This would cause
more road congestion and more noise across flight paths in the area, including
Stevenage, Hitchin and Baldock.

Fears airport development could invade North Herts

Luton Borough Council (LBC), the main shareholder of London Luton Airport Limited
(LLAL), is considering the airport’s future.

At an Executive meeting, it said that it wants to increase the annual passengers
to 18 million – almost double the current number, (8.7 million in 2010 – see below) with a view to increasing up to 30 million passengers a year later on.

The former plan – dubbed the Red Line scheme – would not require any works in
Hertfordshire, but would lead to an increase in people using the county’s roads
as well as more noise from additional flights across flight paths in the area,
including Stevenage, Hitchin and Baldock.

The second plan, known as the Master Plan, would, by the borough council’s own
admission, require development to the land to the east of Luton, which is within
the North Herts boundary.

North Herts District Council councillor David Barnard, who has campaigned to
keep the green belt from being built on in other development plans, said that
if the airport was to increase its capacity, there would be serious implications
for people in North Herts.

“18 million passengers is about double what they are doing at the moment,” said
Cllr Barnard.

“You haven’t got all the transport that is required to service those plans, let
alone all the passengers that have got to get to the airport using Hertfordshire
roads. They aren’t built for it.

“The ‘Master Plan’ will extend into North Herts land. This is something that
has not been sent to us.

“Quite simply, they (LBC) should not be talking about this without consulting
their neighbours, who will mostly be affected. It will be people in Herts who
will be majorly affected.

“It’s all very new to us. We’ve got to investigate and make a noise about it.”

LBC also agreed at its meeting to procure specialist advisors for planning, general
engineering and overall project management.

It has described the matter as “timely and urgent”, and has said that is keen
to act fast to avoid delaying the airport’s redevelopment.

Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (LADACAN) held
a meeting last night (Wednesday) in relation to the proposals.

Spokesman Peter Hunt said: “It’s a bolt out of the blue. We have been here before
and previously seen expansion plans.

“These things are always difficult. At the end of the day, it’s in an unusual
place, not convenient for anybody. None of the problems that existed before have
gone away.

“For certain groups, it will be potentially a bit of a nightmare.”

In its report, LBC said: “Airport development will clearly have environmental
impacts, and one of the pieces of work undertaken by the advisors will be the
preparation of a full environmental impact assessment.”


Peter Hunt said (6.10.2011) at a Luton Borough Council Area Committee meeting
I attended last night, it was announced by Colin Chick, Development & Regeneration
Director in his ‘Future for Luton’ presentation, that LBC planned to expand the
airport to 31mppa. We already know that a Consultant is currently being hired
to investigate how this and a shorter term expansion to 18mppa can be achieved.
I guess we can await the results of this work with interest, but now we have confirmation
in public of where LBC wants to go.

Luton Airport does not currently have a Master Plan.  A draft Master Plan was
produced in 2005 and then withdrawn in 2007.

The Airport’s website states:

Current Development

London Luton Airport Operations Ltd. (LLAOL) published its Development Brief,
setting out its vision for the next phase of development at London Luton Airport
in September 2001. ‘The Brief’ has been formally adopted by Luton Borough Council
as Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) and has guided recent decision-making
with respect to airport related development. The status of the Brief as SPG means
that it is a significant material consideration in any planning application and,
therefore, that proposals complying with it may be considered likely to obtain
planning permission subject to their environmental effects and mitigating measures.

Future Development

In December 2003 the Government published The Future of Air Transport White Paper
outlining a balanced framework for the development of air transport to 2030.

The White Paper indicated that there is sufficient demand for London Luton Airport
to grow to 30 million passengers per annum in 2030. The Government then asked
airport operators to publish a Master Plan outlining proposals for growth.

London Luton Airport Operations Ltd.(LLAOL), published its draft Master Plan
in October 2005.

6th July 2007, London Luton Airport withdrew the draft Master Plan and is to
focus future development proposals on making the most of the existing site.

These proposals will be issued in due course.



Terminal Passengers:     CAA – Terminal Passengers 1999 – 2009

   (annual figures, table 10.3, thousands)

2010     8,734 (down – 4% on 2009)  link to 2010 data

2009     9,115  (down – 10% on 2008)

2008    10,174  (up 3% on 2007)
2007     9,919

2006     9,415

2005     9,135

2000     6,164

1996     2,406
1986     1,962 

Peter Hunt of LANAG (Luton Airport Noise Action Group) last night asked LBC why
they had approved a new school in an area designated as a Public Safety Zone,
when the guidance from the CAA includes the words;

10. There should be a general presumption against new or replacement development,……

(vii)…..Attractions such as children’s playgrounds should not be established…..nor
should playing fields or sports grounds…..

(viii) golf courses would be permitted but not clubhouses.

It appears that LBC have taken it upon themselves to ignore this advise due to
the desperate shortage of alternative space. Does this make it a good location
for more than 600 young school children, if it is not suitable for a golf clubhouse?