Luton Airport access road ‘will blight town’

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A planned new access road to Luton Airport could blight a fifth of the town, it’s been claimed.

And it should be stopped from swallowing up most of Wigmore Park, according to the Liberal Democrat opposition group on the borough council.

The road could follow the airport boundary instead, the group suggests.

“It is not necessary to sacrifice the park to gain access to Century Park and a second terminal,” says a statement from the group.

“The plan proposes a link into Eaton Green Road, which will make Ashcroft Road, Wigmore Lane, Lalleford Road and Eaton Green Road major access routes to the airport, and this is not acceptable.”

While supporting the expansion of London Luton Airport, Liberal Democrat councillors have “some very serious concerns” about how this happens.

“The plans need a major rethink if we are to avoid a massive hit on the quality of life of thousands of Luton residents,” said Liberal Democrat group leader David Franks. “The council and its airport company cannot be allowed to get away with a plan which unnecessarily blights 20 per cent of the town.”

The Liberal Democrats are asking residents to write to the Secretary of State for Transport “protesting that Luton Borough Council intends to deliver a decision on what is essentially its own planning application”.

More than 800 people commented on the initial consultation.

LLAL chief operations officer Robin Porter said: “Luton Council’s airport company has a responsibility to plan for sustainable long-term growth of London Luton Airport.

“This is in order to provide maximum benefit to the local, regional and national economies, and to contribute to the government’s projected shortfall in national aviation capacity to 2050.

“We expect our airport will be full to its current permitted capacity within three years, and we want our communities to thrive and enjoy the benefits that growth will bring.

“Airport and economic growth is important and we want to get it right,” he added.

“We have just completed our initial consultation which asked for comments about options for development and our outline approach to minimising and mitigating impacts.

“We are absolutely committed to bringing forward our plans in the right way.

“Before then there will be many more opportunities for comment, and the next step will be a further consultation.”