Stop Luton Airport expansion: what is happening now

The threat

Luton Rising, owners of Luton Airport on behalf of Luton Borough Council, has applied for massive expansion of the airport, at a time when people are increasingly concerned that more flying is simply unsustainable.

They have already:

  • Spent more than £60 million of Luton taxpayers’ money on preparing the expansion application
  • Spent £300 million of Luton taxpayers’ money on a DART rail link which auditors say is only worth £80 million
  • Incentivised the airport operator to grow faster than originally agreed, which breached noise planning limits
  • Run up debts of half a billion pounds

This isn’t an enviable track record. The Luton Rising directors are in the main ordinary Town Councillors who are doggedly piling all the economic eggs of Luton into one basket that has a hole in it – huge debt interest costs. These will soak up much of the revenue from the Airport, while the big profits go to the Spanish-owned Airport Operator.

What stage is the process at?

The full documentation for the application was submitted by Luton Rising to the National Planning Inspectorate on 27th Feb 2023. The Inspectors have 28 days to review the application and decide to accept it or not. That includes assessing information from any other affected local authorities concerned over any technicalities relating to the quality of the consultations.

You can see information provided by PINS on the application at this link >> Planning Inspectorate Luton Airport

What happens after that?

If the Inspectors decide they will accept the application then Luton Rising must advise people how to register as Interested Parties. Such people will be able to write to PINS, a bit like responding to a planning application, and then a Preliminary Meeting is then held to decide how the Examination process will be organised. The affected local authorities will be invited to submit a Local Impact Report. Most of the consideration is of the written submissions, but an Interested Party has a right to make an oral presentation to the Inspectors.

The Examination stage starts six days after the Preliminary Meeting, and must be completed within 6 months. The Inspectors then write up their recommendation to the Secretary of State, who has three months to issue a decision.

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Click the left-hand link below to go to the next page to find out more about what they are proposing.