In 2012, Luton Airport’s operator said steady growth to 18 million passengers would be balanced with steadily reducing noise. However its owners Luton Borough Council and Luton Rising financially incentivised accelerated growth with the result that flights increased 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 are fighting back to avoid noise blight and clogged road and rail. LADACAN is joining other groups and local councils to fight this threat to our quality of life.
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 DCO process is explained in a video from the government planning website which is embedded below:
A Preliminary Meeting was held on 10th August where the panel of Inspectors agreed to requests to include project finance and governance among the list of topics to be examined.
The six-month Examination stage has now begun, during which detailed Written Representations provided by the Interested Parties including LADACAN will be taken into account and further questions raised on Luton Rising. There will be three Issue-Specific Hearings in September. The next video explains these in more detail:
Following the Examination process, the Panel has three months to make a written recommendation to the Secretary of State who must 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:
Let us know if you see oversights or omissions which are relevant to the planning process and which the Inspectors ought to be made aware of. The more evidence we can produce to highlight deficiencies in the application, the better. Ultimately the Inspectors have to balance the harms against the claimed benefits of the application.
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 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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