Stevenage MP speaks out over Luton Airport plans
STEVENAGE MP Stephen McPartland has said that he is concerned over the impact the expansion of Luton Airport could have on constituents.
Mr McPartland joined the Comet’s campaign against the Luton Airport expansion when it launched at the end of February.
In a submission made to the London Luton Airport Ltd (LLAL) public consultation, he said that problems with noise would increase, particularly in the summer.
“Luton Airport is valued by local people, to use as passengers and as a source of employment, directly and indirectly. However, the proposed plans for expansion are a cause for concern,” he said.
“The passenger numbers using the airport could increase from around 10 million passengers per year to 18 million passengers per year. This is a huge increase and there is no specific constraint on the number of passengers allowed through the airport, so the figure could be even higher.
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“Residents in Stevenage and the surrounding villages suffer from the noise generated by overflying aircraft, and this will only increase with the proposed expansion. The projections for noise seem to take into account some factors, such as the trend for aircraft to be quieter, but not others, such as the trend towards larger aircraft, which are noisier, and the increased frequency of flights, particularly in the summer months.”
Mr McPartland also disputed the estimate by LLAL on the number of jobs that would be created.
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“[It] does not appear to have proper basis, and any figures presented should be considerably better substantiated before they can reasonably be relied upon,” he added.
“The process itself is also a concern, this consultation and the further steps in the planning permission process, as Luton Borough Council both own the airport and are responsible for considering the planning permission for its expansion. The process must be fair, and, given the direct conflict of interest of Luton Borough council, should be fully scrutinised by an Independent Body to ensure that the public interest is upheld.”
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