Luton Airport expansion plans to be examined by the Planning Inspectorate
The government has agreed that the Planning Inspectorate (PI) will examine proposals from “Luton Rising”, the Luton Council company that owns the airport, to expand Luton Airport from 18 million to 32 million passengers per year. The council makes the usual claims about more employment and great economic benefits for the area. The PI has six months to examine the plans. The transport secretary [Mark Harper, since October 2022] will then decide whether to grant development consent. The expansion plans include new terminal capacity, some runway changes, and new airside and landside facilities. A council spokesperson said that, “for every additional passenger above the airport’s current capacity, it will be able to invest an extra £1 into local communities, helping to tackle deprivation.” Really? Andrew Lambourne, a spokesman for protest group Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (LADACAN), said: “It’s tragic that the councillors who run Luton Rising have been so obsessed with growing the airport they appear to have lost sight of the need for prudence” Campaigners said the expansion plans would “create noise blight” across the area. Local MP for Hitchin, Bim Afolami, is strongly against the expansion, due to the additional noise burden it would bring.
Local group, LADACAN
Luton Airport expansion plans to be examined by the government
Campaigners said the expansion plans would “create noise blight” across the area.
The government has agreed to examine proposals to expand Luton Airport that would see passenger numbers increase from 18 million to 32 million a year.
Luton Rising, the Luton Council company that owns the airport, said it could generate £1.5bn per year and create thousands of new jobs.
But anti-noise campaigners have called the expansion plans “tragic”.
The government’s Planning Inspectorate has six months to examine the plans. The transport secretary [Mark Harper, since October 2022] will then decide whether to grant development consent.
The expansion plans include new terminal capacity, an extension to the current airfield platform and new airside and landside facilities.
The council said the expansion would provide additional funding for local communities. A council spokesman previously said the airport was “one of the largest employers in the area, contributing enormously to the region’s economic vibrancy on an annual basis, whilst itself increasing significantly in value as an asset in its own right through successive tranches of investment”.
“We anticipate it will provide an additional £14m each year for communities in Luton and the surrounding areas,” he said.
“For every additional passenger above the airport’s current capacity, it will be able to invest an extra £1 into local communities, helping to tackle deprivation.”
Andrew Lambourne, a spokesman for protest group Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (LADACAN), said: “It’s tragic that the councillors who run Luton Rising have been so obsessed with growing the airport they appear to have lost sight of the need for prudence.
“As for the wider area, this proposal would create noise blight across north Hertfordshire, with flights increasingly starting at five in the morning and running on into the early hours, keeping thousands more people awake at night.
“The harms outweigh any possible benefits.”
Hitchin MP Bim Afolami launches bid to stop new plans to expand Luton Airport to 32 million passengers
By Layth Yousif, (Hitchin Nub News)
26th Mar 2023
Hitchin MP Bim Afolami has begun a fresh bid to stop plans to expand London Luton Airport, following the submission of a Development Consent Order which aims to nearly double the airport’s capacity to 32 million passengers per annum.
Mr Afolami has consistently campaigned against any expansion of the airport and secured a call-in by the Government of plans to expand to 19 million passengers last year. That decision is currently being considered by the independent Planning Inspectorate.
Hitchin’s Parliamentarian https://hitchin.nub.news/news/opinion/hitchin-mp-bim-afolami-nub-news-column-nearly-ps4m-allocated-to-fix-potholes-budget-reaction-childcare-plans-and-more-177212 said: “The expansion of London Luton Airport would increase noise and air pollution for surrounding communities in Hitchin, Harpenden and the villages. It would also place an excessive strain on local transport networks – leaving our rural roads and train system under real pressure.
“Thousands of you have already backed my campaign to prevent the expansion of the Airport. Together with local campaign groups we have mobilised real community support – and I know that we can protect our area from the threat of this expansion.
“I have asked the Secretary of State for an urgent meeting to discuss these plans and I will be presenting him with our community’s petition, showing the strength of local feeling against expansion.
“If you haven’t done already, please do sign my petition at the link below and together let’s stop this expansion.”
You can sign Bim’s petition at www.bimafolami.co.uk/stop-luton-expansion
Luton Airport expansion plans for 32 million passengers, up from 18 million, submitted
Luton Rising, the Luton Council company that owns London Luton Airport, has submitted its application for expansion. The Development Consent Order (DCO) application comprises 198 documents, with over 25,000 detailed pages of proposals and plans. It seeks consent to expand the airport from its current permitted cap of 18 million passengers per annum (mppa) to 32 mppa, including new terminal capacity; earthworks to create an extension to the current airfield platform; new airside and landside facilities; enhancement of the surface access network; extension of the Luton DART; landscaping and ecological improvements; and further infrastructure enhancements and initiatives to support the target of achieving zero-emission ground operations by 2040. Andrew Lambourne, speaking for anti-noise campaign group LADACAN, said the proposal “would create noise blight across north Hertfordshire, with flights increasingly starting at five in the morning and running on into the early hours, keeping thousands more people awake at night. The harms outweigh any possible benefits.”
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From the local group, LADACAN, website:.
The environmental impacts
The impacts on quality of life in the entire local area if this proposal succeeds would be:
- 60% more flights overall, with many compressed into the very early morning and late evening by the low-cost airlines which favour Luton – so 70% more flights at night (11pm to 7am) and 50% more during the day
- A significant increase in the noise footprint which badly impacts communities all around the Airport, with no mitigation: the latest planes sound just as loud, and promised airspace modernisation is still a decade away
- Up to 40,000 additional passenger journeys each day by car to and from the Airport on local roads (not just the M1, but the A505 and the Lower Luton Road), as well as many more rail users
- 60% increase in carbon emissions from the flights, at a crucial time when the impacts of Climate Change are now obvious – and aviation emissions are three times more damaging due to contrails and high altitude pollutants
- Impacts on health and well-being due to noise disturbance at night and early in the morning, and noise impacts on schools which affect learning
- A reduction in Air Quality at and around the airfield due to the increased numbers of cars and aircraft, as well as the particulates from kerosene aircraft fuel and from aircraft brakes and tyres
- Loss of valuable habitat – Wigmore Park, a County Wildlife Site and Asset of Community Value due to its wild orchids and ancient hedgerows, as well as a vital buffer between local housing and the airfield, will be concreted over to build Terminal 2, more aircraft stands and massive car parks.
Where would the impacts be felt?
The simple answer is: all around the airport. The only urban area within 10 miles of the Airport not regularly overflown by aircraft is Luton itself (apart from South Luton). Otherwise, flights cross the towns and villages of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire in large numbers from early morning until the small hours, with cargo flights at night.
Try to remember what it was like to endure 230 arrivals or departures a day during the noisiest ever year in 2019, and then add 50% more to that – plus 50,000 more passengers a day journeying to and from the Airport.
This proposal would have massive environmental impacts, badly affecting all the surrounding areas and communities, which is why it was so important to oppose the plans during the consultation which ran until 4th April.
… and there is more, with noise maps, at
Environmental impact of Luton Airport expansion