Harpenden campaigners accuse councillors of not caring about aircraft noise

A Wizz Air plane comes in to land at Luton Airport. Picture: DANNY LOO

A Wizz Air plane comes in to land at Luton Airport. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

A Harpenden campaign group has accused the local Conversatives of ignoring air traffic noise pollution in favour of other concerns.

South Harpenden Conservatives sent out a questionnaire to residents, asking them to select their five greatest local concerns out of a list of 14 which included affordable homes, parking, social service and local businesses.

Members of the group Harpenden Sky were outraged that the effects of noise pollution from Luton Airport on residents was not one of the options on the list.

Spokesman Neil MacArthur said: “Have South Harpenden Conservatives totally lost the plot? Air traffic noise is a recurring and fundamental issue where local council representatives have been significantly lacking in effective opposition, and now a confident Luton Airport has just announced another expansion plan.

“So at this moment of greatest need, South Harpenden Conservatives are backing off.”

According to Harpenden Sky, a previous newsletter from the Conservatives in May 2018 promised they were fighting to change flight paths out of Luton Airport.

Harpenden South councillors Brian Ellis, Teresa Heritage and David Heritage said they do care about airport noise, but the survey was targeting other areas.

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A joint statement from the councillors said: “Protecting the residents of Harpenden from the environmental effects resulting from the operation of Luton Airport is business as usual for us.

“The survey we are doing in part of our ward is focused on those services that the three tiers of local government (town, district and county) have direct control over both financially and politically and can therefore look to adapt/improve.

“The issues around aircraft noise and traffic are controlled by Luton borough council and London Luton Airport Limited (LLAL). Local Conservative councillors lobby those bodies all the time and are committed to representing residents’ views.

“It is completely incorrect for HarpendenSky to give the impression that local councillors do not care about this issue.”

The survey includes a box asking about additional local concerns, and so far three out of 70 respondents have mentioned aircraft noise.