Protesters make voice heard over airport plan

PUBLISHED: 11:36 19 January 2006 | UPDATED: 20:19 03 May 2010

PROTESTERS are turning to texting to help get their message across as opposition to Luton Airport's huge expansion plan grows. The Kimpton Protection Group has organised a text message petition through an independent company and the results will be passed

PROTESTERS are turning to texting to help get their message across as opposition to Luton Airport's huge expansion plan grows. The Kimpton Protection Group has organised a text message petition through an independent company and the results will be passed on to the Government. There are also plans for individuals to deliver their own objections to the airport on Friday, January 27, the last day for comments. Demonstration The airport's master plan envisages passenger traffic increasing from the current figure of just under 10 million a year to 30 million by 2030 - or even by 2020 depending on what happens at other airports. It includes the construction of a new runway, 950 metres south of the existing runway, and a giant new terminal covering 800 acres. Protesters from Kimpton who had packed a village meeting last Tuesday staged a demonstration on Thursday along the edge of the Green Belt land which would be taken over by the airport. Organised by SLAP - Stop Luton Airport - the demonstration at Whiteway Bottom attracted more than 100 people, including the local action group, Women for the Environment. Melanie Henderson from the group said: "We feel the master plan will turn a large area of the Green Belt into a massive car park." Last Thursday evening the Rothamsted Conference Centre was packed to overflowing when Harpenden Town Council held a meeting about the scheme. So many people were unable to get in that a second meeting was organised for Tuesday this week. At last week's meeting, St Albans District Council's planning policy manager John Chapman highlighted key issues including the loss of Green Belt land, the increase in aircraft noise and the impact of additional road and rail traffic on Herts. John Davis from LADACAN, the Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise, who attended both meetings, said: "One of the most important things for us to achieve in the first instance is to try to get the Government to call in the current move to expand the airport to 20 million passengers a year. Peter Liddell from Kimpton, who called for individuals to take their objections to the airport next Friday, said: "If enough people join in, this will give some indication of what sort of traffic an enlarged airport would generate." He added: "This is the biggest threat ever to our community. Two runways would make the airport the second largest in the country.

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