Hertfordshire County Council responds to London Luton Airport Expansion Consultation on proposals to double the throughput of the airport

Published: 14 Sep 2018

Hertfordshire County Council has responded to a consultation by London Luton Airport Limited’s (LLAL) on its plans to grow London Luton Airport to a throughput of 36-38 million passengers per annum (mppa) by 2050, compared to its current permitted capacity of 18mppa. 

The airport design option preferred by LLAL would see a double terminal solution with a new terminal built on the long stay car park and part of Wigmore Valley Park, with associated runway aprons to provide the required increase in capacity. It would extend the airport and associated development beyond the boundary of Luton Borough Council and into Hertfordshire, involving the provision of a park, car parking, roads and potentially other uses.

LLAL will spend the next year developing a planning application covering all aspects of the proposal. The proposal is of such a size that it will be treated as nationally significant and the application will be submitted to and determined by Government, rather than the local planning authority, Luton Borough Council.  An application is expected to be submitted in summer 2019.

Hertfordshire County Council and other Hertfordshire local authorities will be engaging in the technical work and assessments being carried out by LLAL over the coming year.  David Williams, Leader of Hertfordshire County Council, said:

“This is a very significant proposal that would, if permitted, have fundamental implications for Hertfordshire and the wider sub-region – on its communities, economy, demand for housing, environment, impacts on the transport network and on the Chilterns AONB, and so on. It’s very early days and much of the technical work and analysis to support the proposal will be carried out by LLAL over the coming year. That work and analysis will be key to demonstrating whether it is possible to strike the right balance between the economic benefits and any potential adverse impacts – for example in relation to the environment and transport network.

“I am particularly conscious of how news of this proposal would have been received by those Hertfordshire communities that are already blighted by aircraft noise created by the airport even at its current level of activity. Looking forward, our ambition must be to achieve a significant reduction in those impacts and this proposal must be seen as one of the mechanisms through which this should be secured.

“I am also very concerned that we were not given prior notification that this consultation included proposals and a preferred option to encroach upon land within Hertfordshire. The County Council has called for the scheme promoter to be open to the possibility of the need to explore a redesign to prevent the development seeping into Hertfordshire and the Green Belt.”

 “The County Council welcomes the potential economic benefits that would come with growth of the airport and the commitment made to exploring how these could be shared across the sub-region.  I look forward to the scale and nature of these benefits being robustly assessed and participating in discussions relating to how they can be shared. If the proposal does proceed, Hertfordshire needs to be in a position to maximise any economic benefits that can be secured.

“On behalf of Hertfordshire’s communities and businesses, our focus will be to ensure any planning application secures adequate protection from any potential environmental impacts, our transport network is not burdened and supporting surface access infrastructure is put in place, and to explore how Hertfordshire can benefit economically were Government to grant planning permission.”