MP appeals for pause in Luton Airport expansion plans

An appeal to pause plans to expand London Luton Airport has been delivered by deputy Liberal Democrat leader and St Albans MP Daisy Cooper.

The plans will see passenger capacity increase to 32 million by expanding the airport terminal, building a second one and creating the New Century Park business development.

The development consent order was submitted by Luton Borough Council’s airport company, London Luton Airport Limited (LLAL).

Speaking at a Planning Inspectorate open hearing, Ms Cooper said: “For the sake of our climate, local environment and people’s health I implore you to refuse this application outright”.

“If capacity at one airport is increased, equal or greater reductions are needed at others,” Ms Cooper told the hearing.

“In the London region, Heathrow plans a 60 million passenger increase, Gatwick 30 million and Stansted 10 million.

“It’s clear Luton’s expansion would be contrary to expert advice and in direct conflict with the government’s legal obligations to reach net zero.”

A New Economics Foundation report published in July suggested there was “no strong evidence that increase in UK air travel results in any rise in productivity or GDP growth”, she said.

She said any further expansion would have a “huge impact” on constituents in St Albans and surrounding villages in Hertfordshire, including Sandridge, Redbourn, Wheathampstead, Harpenden, Flamstead and Markyate.

“The airport has repeatedly breached its legal noise and passenger limits since 2019 with impunity. At no point has it been required to take remedial action,” Ms Cooper added.

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