Luton Airport Expansion Update – Oct 2023
The Inquiry process into the near doubling of passengers numbers at Luton Airport is ongoing and the Inspectors are due to report to Government in May 2024.
We are continuing to make representations to the Government Inspectors with CPRE Hertfordshire over our serious concerns on:
Landscape and countryside
The proposals will result in significant and irreversible harm to the immediate countryside including the Chilterns AONB and the Green Belt. In addition, there will be a loss of open space and recreational areas and irreparable damage to Wigmore Park.
A 60% increase in flights flagrantly ignore the reality of the Climate Emergency and the impacts of rapidly expanding aviation, the fastest growing source of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. There is no guarantee that these emissions can be reduced to meet the Government’s commitments.
Noise and Air Pollution
The expansion will cause substantive and further harm to the surrounding countryside and towns by increased noise and air pollution.
Significant congestion will be caused by increases in traffic at the site and on approach roads. More road building is proposed, as well as the provision of an additional 7,275 parking spaces. The whole approach lacks the required emphasis on sustainable transport and how a significant modal shift to public transport will be achieved.
We question whether the extent and scale of the economic benefits of the scheme outweighs the harm to the environment. More efforts should be made to diversify the local economy rather than increasing the overreliance on the Airport for jobs.
You can read our previous comments on this here.
Our latest responses can be read here: Joint CPRE response October 2023
In the meantime and as a separate process, different Government Inspectors have decided, after the Public Inquiry in Autumn 2022, that they are allowing Luton Borough Council to vary certain conditions attached to a previous planning permission granted to the Airport Company in 2017. This in effect means that the Airport Company can now increase passenger numbers from 18- 19m and change some of the current noise restrictions.