Register to submit your comments about massive expansion of Luton Airport

Luton Rising has applied for near-doubling of Luton Airport capacity to 32 million passengers. Those concerned by its impacts on this rural area need to fight back. In 2012, the airport said growth to 18 million passengers by 2028 would be sufficient to support jobs and the local economy.

We strongly oppose this application because we believe such significant additional expansion would noise-blight the area, clog local road and rail services, cause 60% more carbon emissions and create unsustainable environmental and health damage. Here’s how the process works.

Registering as an Interested Party

The registration period for people or groups wanting to make submissions in response to the DCO application has now started, and ends at midnight on Friday 23rd June. “Relevant Representation” can be submitted using an online form. It is helpful to read the Inspectors’ Advice Note before filling in the form. All the information is on the National Infrastructure website at this link where you will find a guide to the registration process and how to prepare and submit comments.

In brief:

  • You have to register as an Interested Party to take part in the process and make your views known
  • The online Registration Form will guide you to provide the necessary information
  • At this stage it’s best to provide a summary of the points you want to make, which can be expanded later
  • Remember that the application may have changed since you submitted you consultation response
  • Your Representation must not be concerned with National Policy nor be “frivolous” and should not contain links
  • Representations which are accepted will be published on the project website

The DCO process

Luton Rising has to obtain a Development Consent Order (DCO) from the National Planning Inspectorate (PINS) for its expansion plan because of the huge environmental impact it would have. The DCO process is explained in a video from the government planning website which is embedded below:

We are currently in the Registration stage, during which people can register as an Interested Party and provide a written summary of their views.

At the end of this stage, a Preliminary Meeting will be held to explain the process and timetable in more detail, and this is explained in the next video:

There is then a six-month Examination stage during which more detail can be provided on the summaries provided by Interested Parties – and this may involve making an oral representation and answering questions. The next video explains this in more detail:

The Panel then has three months to make a written recommendation to the Secretary of State who must make a decision within three months, after which there is six weeks for any legal challenge to the decision.

Finding the documents

The application by Luton Rising for massive expansion of Luton Airport will be assessed as a national infrastructure project. The application documents are all stored on the National Infrastructure Planning website. This page explains how you can find your way around the documents.

At this stage in the process, people and organisations who want to make written submissions to the Inspectors are awaiting details of how to register as Interested Parties. The online registration form will be provided by the Planning Inspectorate, and a summary of each submission has to be provided at registration. There is then time to refine and expand this, along with evidence, for submission during the Examination stage.

The application documents are on the PINS website at this link >> Planning Inspectorate Luton Airport

You can then select the Documents tab, click on the “Developer’s Application” section and use the Filter to choose a document based on its subject or name. This screenshot has orange arrows to show the relevant controls:

Getting started

We’d suggest starting by reading the Non Technical Summary, which then provides pointers to the topics covered by the chapters and sections in the other documents. Just start typing “Non Technical…” in the Filter box as shown above, then you can download the document. There are far too many large documents for everyone to read all of them: the best approach is to pick a topic from the overall summary which you know something about through local knowledge, and look in more detail at that.

Let us know if you see oversights or omissions which are relevant to the process and which the Inspectors ought to be made aware of. The more evidence you can produce to show why the applications is wrong – for example based on poor assumptions, ignoring relevant information, not taking account of local experience – the better.

Alert your friends and neighbours to the threat

This plan would have massive impacts on the local environment all around the airport. Please alert your friends and neighbours: quality of life in this area would change forever if the plan goes ahead. A much larger Luton Airport, flying over the towns and villages of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, adding carbon emissions at a time of Climate Crisis, choking local roads and exporting more money overseas on cheap flights is not a sustainable investment. Instead, we believe Luton Borough Council – which ultimately owns the Airport – should heed its own Climate Emergency declaration and plan for a viable future which invests in tomorrow’s needs and not the kerosene-fuelled obsessions of yesterday.

Please point people at the LADACAN website and suggest they follow @GoLadacan on social media.

Click the left-hand link below to go to the next page.


  1. This expansion is planned solely to make money for Luton Borough Council. It is not needed and will have a bad effect on the surrounding villages and on the environment.

  2. If you go to an event, do have an open mind and make sure that you get to talk to those people who can discuss your areas of interest and concern. This is not as straightforward as it should be, as data is literally laid out in large piles on tables and there is no list of the experts present and their responsibilities. Members of the Luton Rising management team will be thin on the ground and most of the experts are contractors. You will have to ask “helpers” to point out relevant people

    Some suggested areas to probe:

    1. Ask why significant earthmoving takes place in phase 1, in 2025, see timetable below, when not needed until phase 2a, which is not due to start until 2033, and doesn’t appear to be particularly green
    2. Understand the assumptions for control of “Green Controlled Growth”
    3. And how will the proposed Environmental Scrutiny Group have appropriate powers to measure performance, police it, and be properly funded and resourced to undertake its “key” role
    4. Challenge the assumptions selected for key metrics such as air travel growth, quieter planes, green fuel etc, etc bearing in mind the significant impacts of Brexit, Covid, binding carbon reduction and the inherent errors of forecasting out for over 20 years
    5. Challenge the modelling of theoretical data to produce forecasts of averaged daily noise contours which do not reflect the impact of real noise levels, particularly during peak periods and ask about the current absence of fixed noise monitors in those residential areas which suffer the most from take offs and landings.
    6. Ask why does the airport continue with night flights, especially noisy freighters
    7. Ask why the target for public transport access to the airport is set at 40%, Heathrow is targeting 50%

  3. Had the misfortune of attending the latest Luton Borough Council carbon-fetish roadshow in Slip End on Saturday. Benefits boards front and centre, environmental drawbacks pushed into a side area. Neat trick that. Given the Council’s headlong rush to ruin the local area for all I’m only surprised they did not suggest a coal fired power station to run the airport, with transport links provided by steam locomotives! All-in-all these are terrible plans for airport expansion which must be strongly opposed. My objections will in going in ASAP.

  4. At face value, the proposed 80% increase in passenger capacity means:
    80% more flights
    80% more noise
    80% more pollution
    80% more congestion in road and rail travel to the airport.

    The pre-Covid situation on flight frequency and their timing in unsociable hours, noise and pollution was already the subject of local objections over a wide area. Hence arguments claiming major amelioration or reduction in the above impact will not be credible or acceptable unless they result in lower levels of disturbance than in 2018-2019.

    I strongly object to this enormous expansion of Luton airport activity.

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