St Albans campaigners team up with Extinction Rebellion to protest Luton Airport expansion

PUBLISHED: 10:37 05 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:37 05 December 2019

Extinction Rebellion protested in St Albans city centre against Luton Airport's expansion. Picture: Andrew Lambourne

Extinction Rebellion protested in St Albans city centre against Luton Airport's expansion. Picture: Andrew Lambourne

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Demonstrations against Luton Airport’s proposed expansion to 32 million passengers a year took place in St Albans over the weekend.

Extinction Rebellion held a demonstration against Luton Airport's expansion in St Albans. Picture: Extinction RebellionExtinction Rebellion held a demonstration against Luton Airport's expansion in St Albans. Picture: Extinction Rebellion

Protesters from local anti-noise campaign groups and Extinction Rebellion demonstrated outside the Luton Airport expansion roadshow event in Catherine Street on Friday.

They were joined by representatives from the three main political parties, including Conservative Cllr Annie Brewster, Lib Dem Cllr John Hale and Labour Cllr Roma Mills.

The protests follow Herts county council declaring their opposition to Luton Airport's expansion last week, on the grounds that it would result in "unacceptable" harm to the environment.

Local campaign groups LADACAN (Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise), STAQS (St Albans Quieter Skies), STAND (St Albans Aircraft Noise Defence), STOPLAE (Stop Luton Airport Expansion), and SLFFL (Stop Low Flights From Luton) formed an alliance called HALE (Hertfordshire Against Luton Expansion).

Extinction Rebellion held a demonstration against Luton Airport's expansion in St Albans. Picture: Extinction RebellionExtinction Rebellion held a demonstration against Luton Airport's expansion in St Albans. Picture: Extinction Rebellion

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HALE aims to highlight the dangers the expansion poses in light of the climate crisis, and the effect it will have on traffic around the airport.

Cllr John Hale, who is a member of the group, said: "Any talk of expansion must take full account of climate change responsibility - aircraft have a far more significant detrimental effect to the environment than other forms of transport."

County Cllr Annie Brewster said: "I can feel the anger growing within Hertfordshire as residents begin to realise the obscene scale of expansion that is being proposed", and Cllr Roma Mills said: "There are very real concerns about both the increasing noise nuisance and, more importantly, the impact on air quality and climate change."

Extinction Rebellion also held a separate protest, called 'Expansion is Terminal' outside the Clock Tower on Saturday, November 30.

The protest featured ground crew displays and air traffic control tower announcements, and the public signed over 400 letters of objection.

London Luton Airport Ltd (LLAL), has stated that they are "committed to minimising and mitigating environmental impacts" of the expansion.

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