London Luton Airport says expansion plan will put it on the best possible footing to bounce back from the pandemic

'We've followed the necessary planning process and have been committed to openness and complete transparency throughout'

By Euan Duncan
Friday, 19th November 2021, 10:48 am
Updated Friday, 19th November 2021, 10:50 am

The operator of London Luton Airport has been committed to being "open and transparent" throughout a process to seek an increase in the annual passenger capacity to 19 million, according to a statement released by the company.

A report is due to be unveiled later today (Fri 19th) in which planning officers are expected to recommend approval for LLAOL's proposals.

Pressure groups campaigning to reduce noise and pollution, and to protect the local environment, have warned the rise in passenger numbers at the airport would fuel climate change.

London Luton Airport

But a Luton Borough Council spokesman said: "London Luton Airport Operations Limited (LLAOL) consulted on its proposals between October and November 2020.

"The company submitted its planning application in January 2021, seeking an increase in capacity of the airport for passenger numbers from 18 to 19 million per year, as well as proposing amendments to the current noise contours.

"These plans will be considered by the local authority’s development management committee on Tuesday November 30th.

"As the local planning authority, the council consulted on the application when it was received. Following assessments, there were two further consultations in May and September 2021.

"In particular, Luton and District Association for the Control of Airspace Noise (LADACAN) has made representations at each stage of this process.

"The application will be determined in line with standard procedures, taking into account the council’s Local Plan, national planning policy and guidance, and other material considerations," added the spokesman.

"The operator’s proposals are separate to, and don't affect, the plans consulted on in late 2019 by the council’s airport company Luton Rising (formerly London Luton Airport Limited) to increase long-term capacity of the airport to 32 million passengers per annum."

A London Luton Airport spokesman explained: "We've followed the necessary planning process and have been committed to openness and complete transparency throughout.

"As well as extensive public consultation beginning in October 2020, the plans have included a full environmental impact assessment.

"This shows that any adverse impact on the surrounding environment and communities will be minimal.

"Our plans don't propose building any new infrastructure at the airport. This application is focused on making sure the airport has the best possible footing to bounce back from the pandemic.

"The application will help the local and national economy recover, as well as delivering benefits for our passengers, supply chain and the regional economy.”

Campaigners also said instead of resubmitting the original application with amendments, the new application meant 450 objections were removed forcing people to resubmit them.

Letters received by local residents show that councillors will be recommended to approve the plans to expand the airport passenger capacity at the meeting later this month.

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