Luton Borough Council has announced that it has decided to delay the submission of a Development Consent Order application to government, which is part of the planning process for airport expansion.
SLAE looks at the reasons why :
In a press release dated 19th May 2020 the Council makes the following statement, “Following Statutory Consultation on our expansion proposals during the autumn, we have been considering very closely and seriously the feedback we received”
“We have heard in particular a clear message that people want us to go even further to mitigate environmental issues, including noise, air quality and climate change”
If true, we would view this as unique, as for years we believe the Council has been ignoring the public when it comes to airport planning applications. What makes this application different is that the Council cannot decide its own planning application this time, as it has to go to government due to its size, which is why a DCO application has to be submitted.
So what has made the Council delay the DCO application and was it really the results of the consultation which was held in 2019?
We would argue it has nothing to do with public opinion and everything to do with a Court of Appeal ruling on Heathrow Airport Expansion. The Heathrow expansion was ruled unlawful on environmental grounds and the government said it would not appeal.
In the Council statement there is no mention of the Court of Appeal ruling, which must have focused Council minds, so why not mention it rather than pretending it was all down to the consultations?