Luton Council is struggling to get approval from its own Councillors regarding the £124 million dual carriageway that will serve a second terminal.
The road was disguised in a planning application approved by the Council for a business park. It’s the same business park that occupies the same public park that the Council requires for airport expansion …..
With the Council giving themselves planning permission for a business park they avoided the application for the dual carriageway going to government as part of the DCO for airport expansion. The issue now is that they can’t afford to pay for the road and they have admitted that Council cutbacks would be needed to pay the interest payments on the loan.
The Council’s dilemma is that the planned multi million pound access road has little to do with what would remain of the business park and everything to do with providing a dual carriageway access route to the proposed second terminal, as this road is the expansion enabler. This means that the road is only viable if the Government approves airport expansion and there is no certainty it will.
In a further massive planning blunder the Council agreed to lend London Luton Airport Ltd (which it owns), £225 million to build the Dart Rail link to the existing terminal. This scheme was never about building a rail link to the existing terminal as the airport has reached capacity without it, so why did Luton Council loan its airport £225 million on a train set when it wasn’t needed? It was actually all about jumping the gun and putting in the first stage of a rail link to a second terminal that might never get built due to government goals to cut greenhouse gases.
London Luton Airport Ltd claims in newspaper reports that a new replacement Wigmore Park will be located within the borough of Luton. This is just another distortion of the truth as the plans for airport expansion show the site of the new proposed Wigmore Park as a quarry as they need to extract 4 million cubic metres of earth to infill the land for an expanded airport. The actual plans from the airport consultations shows a new park not in Luton or even Bedfordshire but in Hertfordshire – meaning that for most people they will have to cross the county border to reach the new park. Only if the airport expansion plans were turned down by government would a replacement Wigmore Park be sited in Luton; but then – without the airport expansion – the Council cannot justify the expense of the dual carriageway unless they twist a few arms and get the Councillors to stop asking questions.
Wigmore Valley Park has official County Wildlife Status and has two Asset of Community Value Orders placed on it by neighbouring Parishes who recognised the value of one of Luton’s largest parks for the health and wellbeing of the communities that use it daily.