St Albans district council objects to easing noise restrictions at Luton Airport

St Albans district council strongly objects to relaxing noise restrictions at Luton Airport. Picture

St Albans district council strongly objects to relaxing noise restrictions at Luton Airport. Picture: Luton Airport - Credit: Archant

St Albans district councillors are to maintain a ‘strong objection’ to proposals that would ease noise restrictions on Luton Airport, despite the submission of additional information.

London Luton Airport has asked for permission to relax the controls that are currently in place, limiting the impact aircraft noise has on the ground. Current controls dictate that daytime aircraft noise should only reach levels of 57dB on an area of ground covering 19.4 sq km, but the airport has asked for the 'noise contour' to cover 23.4 sq km until the end of 2024.

They have also asked for an extension of the nighttime noise contour, to allow sound to reach 48dB on an area covering 44.1 sq km, instead of the current 37.2 sq km to the end of 2024.

It is said that "unprecedented" levels of growth in passenger numbers at the airport has resulted in the existing nighttime noise controls being breached, and the daytime contour area has only just remained within permitted levels.

Councillors in St Albans considered the proposal - which will ultimately be determined by Luton Borough Council - in June, when they agreed to raise a strong objection.

On Monday, September 30, the council's planning referrals committee was asked to consider further information in respect to noise levels and modelling, mitigation measures and of the economic impact of complying with the existing condition.

According to the additional information, the revised noise modelling suggests the existing daytime noise contour will be exceeded in 2019, but not between 2020 and 2028.

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It also suggests limits would be set on the types of aircraft that were allocated certain slots, that no non-emergency diversions would be accepted and charging would be implemented from 2019 to incentivise a faster modernisation of fleets.

Failure to support the variation could result in losses to the airport of between £12m and £25m a year, and could also lead to job losses. However the committee agreed that the council should continue to object to the proposal as part of Luton Borough Council's consultation.

The objection states that "any increase in noise disturbance for residents is unsatisfactory", and the number of additional homes affected is "significant, unjustified and unacceptable".