Alarming report says North Herts villages should be wiped for Luton Airport expansion

The report wants to increase the runways at the airport from one to four

The report wants to increase the runways at the airport from one to four - Credit: Archant

ENTIRE villages in North Herts should be wiped out to accommodate a four-runway airport in Luton, a “frightening” report claims.

The Comet has received a copy of a report today (Friday) submitted to the Airports Commission by WestonWilliamson+Partners, which proposes four runways for Luton Airport.

In order to build the additional runways, between Luton and Kimpton, the report says residents in Breachwood Green and Peter’s Green would have to be “relocated”.

But staggeringly, the report adds: “Although this would be a loss, the environmental disruption would be minimal compared to a new estuary airport.”

Councillors have hit out at the plans, and the matter has been referred to the leader and chief executive of North Herts District Council.

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County and district councillor David Barnard said: “As far as I’m concerned, it’s too ridiculous to be true.”

Cllr Barnard has referred the matter to parish councils in the area, as has fellow district and county councillor Richard Thake.

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Cllr Thake said: “It’s a very frightening prospect, immensely frightening for the residents of North Herts and of the adjacent areas, especially Breachwood Green.”

The report, which does not state how many passengers would fly to and from the airport a year under the plans, also suggests a new rail link between Stevenage and the airport.

And it states Luton is “already well served via the M1 and A1”, saying airport users could travel on these routes.

Those coming off the A1(M) would be travelling up the A602 to Hitchin, then onto the A505.

North Herts District Council leader Lynda Needham said: “These proposals have significant and unacceptable implications for North Hertfordshire. Local roads and other infrastructure would struggle to cope with what would be a huge increase in passengers, homes and land would be lost, villages relocated and unacceptable noise levels would increase. That much is accepted in the submission itself.

“We have always said that growth in the area needs to be appropriate. In addition to concerns about the immediate impact on people living in the area, a four-runway hub airport at Luton could lead to unsustainable levels of growth in North Herts when we are already making difficult decisions about where the homes needed for the future should be built.”

The authority will prepare a full response to the Airports Commission, which has set a deadline of 27 September.

For more on this story, keep checking back on our website and see next week’s Comet.

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