Harpenden councillor to speak at Luton Airport expansion meeting

A Monarch plane taking off from London Luton Airport

A Monarch plane taking off from London Luton Airport - Credit: Archant

A meeting on the proposed expansion of Luton Airport is underway today (Friday), with objectors including representatives of campaign and conservation groups and councils to speak this afternoon, ahead of a decision.

Luton borough council (LBC) is considering a scheme to allow 18 million passengers to be flown a year – near double current numbers.

Experts have this morning spoken about the impact of the bid to increase passenger throughput, playing down the possible effects in regards to noise and traffic.

However the development control committee was told that First Capital Connect has said that realigning a track to serve the airport was not “cost effective”.

Harpenden Town Council’s airport working group chairman Cllr David Williams, who is to speak shortly, told the Herts Advertiser he was disappointed that only six members of the 11-strong committee are present at the rescheduled meeting.

The proposed expansion of the airport has recently suffered a double blow by not being included in a government-backed shortlist, with the airport also being told that the current planning application could be referred to the secretary of state.

But the Department for Communities and Local Government, on behalf of the secretary of state, has asked LBC, which owns the facility through London Luton Airport Operations Ltd, to not grant the application permission at today’s any decision is subject to the matter being called in by the Government.

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The directive has been issued to enable the secretary of state to consider whether the application should be referred to him for determination.

On Tuesday the Airports Commission, an independent panel asked by the Government to look into potential expansion, released an interim report which shortlisted Heathrow and Gatwick for runway expansions, but not Luton.

The report does suggest the need for the Government to develop a strategy for motorway access to Luton, “with a particular view to examining the case for enhancements to M1 Junction 10A”. This was welcomed by London Luton Airport Operations Ltd.