200 extra households to suffer 'significant noise levels' if Luton Airport expansion goes ahead
More than 200 extra households will suffer “significant noise levels” during the day and an additional 450 at night as London Luton Airport expands, it has been revealed.
This arises from planned changes under the airport’s £64m growth to cater for up to 32m passengers a year by 2040.
The airport says it will “continue to encourage airline operators to upgrade their fleet to newer generation aircraft, which are quieter and more efficient”.
London Luton Airport is currently holding a series of statutory public consultation events across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire over its future plans.
This is the second such phase in the process to make the best use of the airport runway, as part of a project which includes building a second terminal.
The airport currently has permission for 18m passengers a year, which it is close to reaching.
As a “nationally significant infrastructure project”, under The Planning Act 2008, a development consent order (DCO) is required from the government to authorise the airport’s expansion plans.
These have to undergo a public examination by the Planning Inspectorate before a final decision is made by the Secretary of State for Transport.
Work could start in 2022, subject to planning permission, if the schedule runs to time.
The airport says “some adverse impacts would be unavoidable” from its development plans.
But it sets out “to cause the least damage to valued wildlife habitats, amenity assets and heritage assets”.
The airport is owned by London Luton Airport Limited (LLAL), which the Luton Borough Council airport company.
Work has begun already on the Luton DART project to provide passenger transport from Luton Airport Parkway railway station to the airport.
Climate change campaigners, including the group Stop Luton Airport Expansion, have spoken to residents outside each venue.
One of them Chris Hayden said of the process: “I think this is a marketing exercise. There are lots of glossy materials
“They’ll review what’s come up at these events and look to make their proposal stronger when they submit it for the DCO next year.
“At every consultation I have been to residents have mentioned the DHL Aviation plane which flies over in the early hours of the morning.
“It has been said the passenger levels were reduced from 38m to 32m because of climate change considerations.
“But the document which reviewed the first consultation suggested the airport would have to pay millions more to improve the motorway and junction ten to cater for a further 6m passengers.
“As residents of Luton we are stakeholders in the airport, but our views are not listened to,” he added.
“Electric planes are a long way off. It will be tested on small planes. They’re not going to make it the big commercial planes.”
Another campaigner Jan Ingham said: “I get woken at 4am by the DHL plane. DHL buy up old planes and because of that they’re very noisy.
“My thing is the park, because I am very passionate about Wigmore Park and the county wildlife site with the rare orchids there.
“They say they are gifting us this park in the agricultural field next door, which will have been fertilised for years.
“The wildlife that’s there in Wigmore Park is never going to live in that area. It’s no new gift. It’s always been there to walk on.”
The consultation continues until Saturday December 7.