Stevenage MP speaks out over Luton Airport plans
16:38 06 April 2012
STEVENAGE MP Stephen McPartland has said that he is concerned over the impact the expansion of Luton Airport could have on constituents.
Keep fighting the expansion
THE fight is far from over, and the Comet still needs you to make a stand against plans to expand Luton Airport.
Many people will have taken part in a consultation by airport owners London Luton Airport Ltd (LLAL), which has now ended. The company wants to increase the number of people using the airport, from the current nine million to 18 million.
But the operators of the airport, London Luton Airport Operations Ltd (LLAOL) have put in an alternative application, of which the consultation is under way.
LLAL and LLAOL are both different companies, and their proposals and consultations are entirely separate.
So, even if you have responded to the original consultation, it is important to respond to LLAOL’s too. It wants to increase the number of people using the airport annually to 16 million instead.
To take part in the consultation and see more on the plans, visit www.london-luton.co.uk/masterplan, email email@example.com or post your thoughts to Project LLA Consultation, London Luton Airport Operations Limited, Navigation House, Airport Way, Luton, Beds, LU2 9LY.
The consultation ends on Wednesday, April 25.
Mr McPartland joined the Comet’s campaign against the Luton Airport expansion when it launched at the end of February.
In a submission made to the London Luton Airport Ltd (LLAL) public consultation, he said that problems with noise would increase, particularly in the summer.
“Luton Airport is valued by local people, to use as passengers and as a source of employment, directly and indirectly. However, the proposed plans for expansion are a cause for concern,” he said.
“The passenger numbers using the airport could increase from around 10 million passengers per year to 18 million passengers per year. This is a huge increase and there is no specific constraint on the number of passengers allowed through the airport, so the figure could be even higher.
“Residents in Stevenage and the surrounding villages suffer from the noise generated by overflying aircraft, and this will only increase with the proposed expansion. The projections for noise seem to take into account some factors, such as the trend for aircraft to be quieter, but not others, such as the trend towards larger aircraft, which are noisier, and the increased frequency of flights, particularly in the summer months.”
Mr McPartland also disputed the estimate by LLAL on the number of jobs that would be created.
“[It] does not appear to have proper basis, and any figures presented should be considerably better substantiated before they can reasonably be relied upon,” he added.
“The process itself is also a concern, this consultation and the further steps in the planning permission process, as Luton Borough Council both own the airport and are responsible for considering the planning permission for its expansion. The process must be fair, and, given the direct conflict of interest of Luton Borough council, should be fully scrutinised by an Independent Body to ensure that the public interest is upheld.”
Please continue to let the Comet know about your views on the proposals, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also text your thoughts, by texting TC VIEWS followed by your name and comment to 80058. Texts cost 25p, plus your standard network rate.