Planning Application 21/00031/varcon – Update

A date has finally been set for this highly contentious application to be presented to the Development Management Committee of Luton Borough Council (LBC). This application is to allow the airport operator to increase the annual passenger capacity by 1 million, to 19 million, and to rewrite to the applicant’s benefit, noise limitations imposed as part of the last airport expansion.

A Special meeting will be held on Tuesday 30th November, at 1800 in the Town Hall Council Chamber.

The following day at the same time, has been reserved as a backup day, as it is felt a decision may not be reached on the original day.  The Council Officers have unsurprisingly recommended the application be permitted; their report will be available from 5pm on the 19th at :

There will be limited capacity for public attendance, and primarily for those wishing to speak on the application, either for or against. There will be full coverage as usual on the LBC you tube channel.

With the global climate emergency, and the fact that this application will only add to those emission totals, the noise nuisance has been allowed to grow to already unacceptable levels, with nigh on complete disregard for those it impacts.  We would think, therefore, the right decision would only take minutes to reach: – that is to decline the application.

Sadly, when you consider the grip the applicant, the airport operator London Luton Airport Operations Ltd (LLAOL) has on LBC, having switched off the concession income stream on Force Majeure grounds for the foreseeable future, we think yet again the decision is a foregone conclusion.

Competing airport operators in the London area would love to be in LLAOL’s position, and to have such a relationship with their local planning authorities. LBC have been advising LLAOL on this application. Rather than resubmitting the original application with amendments, this new application was submitted, which resulted in 450 objections being removed. LBC then used planning regulations to block the transfer of those objections, meaning the public had to resubmit them again. This also gave the applicant the opportunity to instigate a campaign among its staff and contractors to lodge their backing for the application. This tactic did not find favour with the public, and even more objections were lodged, resulting in 923 objections versus 205 in favour.

Though the decision would have been passed anyway, if it means the tap to pay off LBC’s growing airport development debts will be turned on so a few drips of cash start to flow again, it is even more of a certainty that commercial gain will trump local quality of life, and the climate of the planet, yet again.

Stop Luton Airport Expansion

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