Inspectors have examined the Luton Rising proposals

In 2012, Luton Airport’s operator said steady growth to 18 million passengers would be balanced with steadily reducing noise. But its owners Luton Borough Council and Luton Rising financially incentivised accelerated growth. Numbers of flights increased dramatically before less noisy aircraft had been introduced, breaking noise limits for three years in a row. The Airport reached its 18 million limit 9 years too soon in 2019, creating windfall profits at the expense of local communities.

Luton Rising, the greedy airport owner, now wants a further near-doubling to 32 million passengers. People across this whole rural area have fought back to avoid noise blight and clogged road and rail. We call on the Secretary of State to refuse this application because of its environmental impacts.

The Development Consent Order process

Luton Rising has to obtain a Development Consent Order (DCO) for its airport expansion plan because of the huge environmental impacts it would have. The six-month Examination stage has now finished, and the detailed opposing Representations provided by the Interested Parties including LADACAN will be taken into account. Local people and Councils overwhelmingly opposed the application because of its environmental impacts.

The Panel of Inspectors has until mid-May to make a written recommendation to the Secretary of State who must then make a decision within three months. Then there is six weeks for any legal challenge to be raised.

Finding out more

All the application documents and procedural letters from the Examining Authority (the Panel of five Inspectors) are on the National Infrastructure Planning website at this link >> Infrastructure Planning: Luton Airport

You can then select the Documents tab and click on the blue “View Documents (beta version)” button. Select 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:

Continue to press your MP for the plan to be refused

This plan would have massive impacts on the local environment all around the airport. Please alert your MPs and urge them to oppose: 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 sustainable. Instead, Luton Borough Council – which ultimately owns the Airport – should heed its own Climate Emergency declaration and plan for a better airport and not a bigger one.

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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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