Three National Planning Inspectors led Public Inquiry in 2022 into a controversial decision by Luton Borough Council to grant further capacity expansion and a bigger noise footprint to Luton Airport, having financially incentivised accelerated growth which led to noise condition breaches. LADACAN represented local people concerned about the impacts of the expansion on their health, quality of life and the character of the area. These key concerns were all relevant to the topics addressed by the Inquiry:
- The implications of the proposal for meeting the challenge of climate change
=> we argued that all emissions matter when seeking to meet the challenges of Net Zero
- The effect of noise associated with the proposal on health, quality of life, and the character of the area
=> we showed that there are significant flaws in the Airport’s noise data analysis and contour model
- The effect of the proposal on air quality
=> local people spoke of smelling fumes from the fuel and finding smuts in their gardens
- The effect of the proposal on sustainable transport objectives and transport infrastructure
=> the Inspectors focused hard on the extra traffic burden in the light of the already crowded network
- The socio-economic implications of the proposed development
=> we argued that the jobs figures are over-estimated and there is risk in not diversifying
- Whether the proposed development would be consistent with the Development Plan and other relevant policies
=> we argued that the proposals will not lead to longer term noise reduction and are against the local plan
- The effect of other considerations on the overall planning balance
=> we highlighted the financially-incentivised accelerated growth which led to this expansion proposal
The Inquiry heard that the Airport has been a problem to the Borough Council’s planning department because of the assumption that it had the right to reach its passenger cap without taking account of its noise contour limits – what LADACAN has been saying all along.
The official website with the Inquiry documents and video streaming can be found at this link.
The Secretaries of State for Levelling Up Housing and Communities, and for Transport, are due to issue their decision on the recommendations of the Inspector Panel in October 2023, part-way through the current Examination of proposals for yet further expansion.
Anyone living locally and impacted by the noise from Luton Airport is welcome to join LADACAN to ensure their voice is heard: please see https://ladacan.org/about-us/ for details.
Do follow us on social media using the handle @GoLadacan
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