A lobby campaigning to limit airport noise control has attacked Luton Borough Council – claiming it has “secretly dismantled” noise controls at Luton Airport.
Campaign group LADACAN (Luton And District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise) accused Luton Borough Council of granting itself permission to expand the airport back in 2013.
The group further claim that a condition of noise control was “secretly dismantled” by the council, in spite of an ongoing planning application listed as still awaiting a decision.
But LBC has came out strongly against the claim. A spokesman said: “Luton Borough Council has categorically not ‘secretly dismantled’ or ‘watered down’ noise conditions that were imposed to planning permission granted to the airport operator in 2013/14.
“The council, as planning authority, is fully committed to its responsibilities to the airport’s neighbours.”
Permission for the airport expansion in 2013 stipulated a number of conditions, including a cap on annual passenger numbers of 18 million as well as the noise condition.
A subsequent application in 2015 was made to vary this noise condition, described as “unreliable”.
According to LBC, its development control committee granted the application the following year, subject to a Section 106 contribution, although LBC’s planning website still listed the application as “awaiting decision” this week.
The spokesman added: “The original condition... was unreliable and consequently an alternative means of setting noise violation limits and controlling average noise levels generated in the community around the airport was required.”
He added that the Secretary of State had allowed LBC as local planning authority to decide open the original expansion application back in 2013. He said: “Luton Borough Council absolutely did not ‘grant itself planning permission’.”