‘Cruel’ plans would be terminal for Wigmore Park

Workers at Wigmore Park
Workers at Wigmore Park

Campaigners from Friends of Wigmore Park are fighting to stop London Luton Airport Limited (LLAL) building a new terminal on the land.

The group has called a meeting for residents after they heard that the company are planning to build a second terminal on Wigmore Park.

They believe if plans go ahead their park and County Wildlife Site will be destroyed, so have arranged for a meeting to be held on Tuesday, July 17, at 7.30pm in Raynham Way Community Centre.

Jeff Morgan, from Friends of Wigmore Park, said: “We have been in continuous meetings with the council and airport about this and we always asked if there were plans to build a second terminal and they always said no just the business park. Now it has come out that there are plans to potentially build a second terminal on the County Wildlife area, north of that will be the business park, which we believe is not for new businesses, just ones that are being relocated after they are knocked down from the building of the dual carriageway,

“The roads cannot cope with the amount of traffic going to the airport at the moment, let alone a new terminal and more passengers, it will be ridiculous.

“In the plans they are just leaving us a 200m strip of park, of which 100m is an allotment.

“The fact that the airport has been talking about it making money for the community is frustrating for us in Wigmore. We have lost our library, the funding has gone for the community centres, the football pitches, the pavilion and now they want to take our park away from us.

“We suggested building a smaller terminal so we could at least keep some of our park. We are not against airport expansion but they said no. There plans are so cruel, it is taking the park away from Wigmore.”

LLAL is running a consultation on potential expansion of the airport so residents can view the plans and have their say.

Cllr Andy Malcolm, Chair LLAL said: “We are absolutely committed to delivering expansion of our airport in the right way by balancing the very significant economic and employment benefits that will flow to Luton and the surrounding area with minimising and mitigating the full range of environmental impacts that airport operations can bring.

“Our consultation outlines our commitment to prioritising provision of replacement public open space that is at least as big and good as currently exists, and responding to views about its design and construction.

“We are committed to retaining the existing entrance in Wigmore Valley Park next to Wigmore Pavilion and will seek to ensure that long-term development of the airport is phased so that access to open space can be maintained for the public at all times.

“The New Century Park planning application is an important ambition in its own right that would bring 3,200 much-needed new jobs and will continue to be brought forward as part of the Luton Investment Framework to improve people’s lives and futures in the town.

“LLAL’s plans have always focused on delivering jobs and economic growth to Luton and the surrounding area in such a way that continues to support the community and voluntary sectors.

“In its discussions with individuals and groups, LLAL has taken great care to express its conviction that in the interests of the town, it will assess all options to achieve this goal.

“We are aware of a wide range of views already expressed by residents of Luton and those living in the wider area. That is why we are engaging in this period of extensive consultation to further engage with the public.

“We want as many people as possible to come to our consultation events, view the plans, ask questions of our technical team and complete the survey.”