Villagers unite against plans for Luton Airport expansion
VILLAGERS around St Albans have launched a campaign group to fight Luton Airport’s ambitious expansion plans to double passenger numbers, a scheme they have criticised as a “total farce”.
Angry residents living under the airport’s flight paths have formed a new group called Hertfordshire Against Luton Expansion (HALE).
London Luton Airport Limited, wholly owned by Luton Borough Council (LBC), has announced plans to double capacity to 18 million passengers a year.
It claims the expansion would create up to 6,000 new jobs and generate millions of pounds of investment.
The airport is to submit a planning application to the council, which is the area’s planning authority, in April.
However a public exhibition on the scheme attended by about 150 villagers in Flamstead last week has failed to appease residents.
Nigel Emms, founder member of HALE, said: “Residents across Hertfordshire will experience more noise, more air pollution and more congestion on their roads and railways whilst Luton borough council pockets the cash.”
- 1 Suspected loan sharks arrested in Hemel Hempstead
- 2 See inside this loft style apartment in a former hat factory
- 3 Train timetable shakeup due in St Albans and Watford from May 15
- 4 Woman found in canal near M25 in Hertfordshire
- 5 Nearly 100 motorway cameras upgraded to catch drivers who flout red X rules
- 6 Harpenden neighbours condemn plans for builders merchant next to residential properties
- 7 Tomorrow's lunar eclipse: How and when to see it
- 8 Revealed: Most popular Deliveroo takeaway dishes in St Albans
- 9 Missing 25-year-old last seen in Coreys Mill Lane found in Stevenage
- 10 St Albans shop showcasing small independents by renting out shelves
He said it was “outrageous” that LBC could decide its own planning application.
The campaigners, via new website www.hale.uk.net, have called upon the airport to resolve the long-running issue of noisy planes and in particular evening flights.
HALE held its first public meeting on the controversial scheme at Flamstead on Thursday, February 23.
Nigel said the existing road and rail infrastructure was insufficient to cope with twice as much airport traffic.
He added: “This would detrimentally affect the M1, A5, A1081, A505 and Lower Luton Road, plus the commuter rail link to and from London.”
Vikki Orvice, a journalist from Flamstead, described the airport’s exhibition as “flimsy” and a “total farce”.
She said there was no information on the environmental impact, number of night flights and consultants were unaware that residents of Flamstead and Redbourn suffered from plane noise.
The scheme has also been questioned by airport operator, London Luton Airport Operations Limited (LLAOL).
The consortium has asked whether airline prices will have to increase dramatically to cover the cost should numbers not reach the estimated 18 million passengers.
It asked what the environmental impact, in particular noise and air quality, would be if flights increased by a proposed 275 a day.
A spokesman added: “We firmly believe that further development must be based on the core considerations of safety, feasibility, sustainability and environmental sensitivity.
“We will therefore publish our own detailed proposal for the further expansion of [the] airport during the second half of the month.”