Understanding the process behind the proposals

Luton Rising has applied 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 environmental and health damage. Here’s how the process works.

The DCO process

The Luton Rising has to obtain a Development Consent Order (DCO) from the National Planning Inspectorate (PINS) because of the huge environmental impact it plan would have. The process for getting a DCO is explained in a video on this link to the government planning website. Do watch the first video, to understand how the process works and when and how we can oppose it.

Luton Rising has run a statutory consultation, in which they presented the proposed project and Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) , and sought responses from the local community. Information summary placards appeared only to present the upside and downplay the impacts and we suggested people asked tough questions so as to provide strong and well-informed objections.

Luton Rising then had to make a fair assessment of all the responses and modify its approach as a result, so the thousands of pages of detailed environmental information are likely to have changed. It has to show the Planning Inspectorate how it has taken account of the responses in its application for the DCO.

The Planning Inspectorate is currently assessing the application to decide if it can proceed. If so, Luton Rising must tell people how to register as “interested parties” in the Examination process. These parties will make written submissions and have a right to make an oral presentation. PINS will appoint a Panel, set a timetable, and hold a preliminary meeting. The Examination process then starts and takes up to 6 months, with written reports and in-person hearings. The Panel has three months to make a written recommendation to the Secretary of State who must make a decision within 3 months, after which there is 6-weeks for any legal challenge to the decision.

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 does not sound like a good investment. Instead, we believe Luton Borough Council should heed its own Climate Emergency and plan for a truly sustainable 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.

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  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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