Protest against proposed destruction of Wigmore Park in Luton
Residents protested against the proposed destruction of Wigmore Park for the expansion of London Luton Airport.
The protesters, including some members of the Stop Luton Airport Expansion group, were at Wigmore Park on Sunday, March 2, protesting against the proposed destruction of the park by Luton Council and London Luton Airport Ltd, for a second terminal, apron, new road and parking.
One of the protesters said: “
Doreen Steinberg, one of the protesters, said: “This park does so much to counter pollution for nearby residents but that is not a consideration for the cretins who run Luton Council, many of whom live miles away.
“Never mind that every road into town is grid locked morning and evening now.”
Cllr Andy Malcolm, chair of LLAL, said: “We have a unique opportunity as the owner of London Luton Airport to support growth of the local, sub-regional and national economies, and the council’s ongoing transformation of our town.
“Our preferred option for a second terminal north of the runway safeguards as much land as possible within Wigmore Valley Park, and provides a new footprint for the parkland and open space which is 10 per cent bigger than the existing.
“This would be positioned further away from the runway than it is at the moment, and be more accessible to all park users than is currently the case.
“We would deliver significant improvements to facilities in the retained part of the park, and have also worked to constrain the extent of development required in the green belt.
“In 2017 the airport generated £1.3bn benefit to the national economy, including £895m within Luton, and supported nearly 10,000 direct and 20,000 indirect jobs.
“Through revenue received from LLAL, the Council was able to spend £28m on essential front-line services in Luton in 2017/18.
“In addition, LLAL itself made donations totalling £10m for voluntary and charitable organisations in communities impacted by airport operations.
“Air quality and roads access were among the key issues raised during our first public consultation. This summer we will be starting best-in-class air quality monitoring that will measure a greater range of pollutants than any other major UK airport, and are working closely with a wide range of stakeholders to make sure that our evolving strategies to minimise and mitigate impacts will be the best they can be. We will welcome the continued involvement of the Friends of Wigmore Park in this process.”