It seems that the Court of Appeal may have dealt a devastating blow to Luton Borough Council, when it rejected Heathrow Airport’s application for airport expansion. The application was turned down on the grounds that it did not take Government climate commitments into account and thus broke the Government’s national climate policy.
The Borough Council is, of course, fully aware of the local effects of pollution and climate change. It has produced a report that states that an estimated 86 Luton lives are lost each year due to pollution in the town. The Council’s response to its own report was to ignore it, promising instead to bulldoze hundreds of trees, dig up one of the town’s largest public parks and county wildlife sites, and nearly double the airport’s pollution – all in the name of greed and social irresponsibility.
The Council has even introduced a policy of deception. It has declared a climate emergency, but has activated a plan that conveniently allows the airport to double in size in a few short years while ignoring the fact that aviation is the most polluting form of public transport.
Cllr Tom Shaw, portfolio holder for the Environment, said: “With the airport being the town’s biggest and most important asset in driving economic growth and prosperity, we are fully aware of the adverse effects of airport operations, which is why our airport company has recently invested in an aviation-leading air quality testing station”
Maybe the air quality testing station will magically clean the filth and carbon coming from the airport rather than just produce reports – reports that will be tainted by the careful positioning of the monitor. You can be sure that the station has been kept away from the prevailing wind, from the airport for most of the time.
No mention from Tom Shaw that Ryanair, which is one of Luton’s major airlines, comes in 10th place for Europe’s top 10 carbon emitters – yet Luton Council has given financial incentives to the airport operator to get Ryanair to add more flights and pollution to Luton.
The airport operator (LLAOL), who also appears to care little about climate change, has just introduced outside heaters while refusing to fit a single solar panel to its terminal roof and two piers.