Democratic and Procedural

Please refer to the objections document that can be downloaded here: Link

  1. Potton Town Council was only informed of the proposal after a member of the public alerted them to it.  Only after Councillor Zerny and other independent councillors proposed a motion at Central Beds. Council opposing the scheme did Luton Airport contact Potton Town Council to invite it to engage in the consultation exercise.
  2. Two councillors on Central Beds Council were appointed to a liaison committee with the airport but they have made no formal report to the council on their work. Incidentally, neither of their wards around Leighton Buzzard will be overflown.
  3. Richard Fuller, MP for NE Bedfordshire, wrote on 10 November 2020 to the Secretary of State for Transport on 10 November 2020 expressing his concern at the “disregard for local residents….May I request that you stop the current consultation and urgently review the procedures involved, and then act to ensure that local councils and councillors have more opportunity to provide recommendations and inputs?”
  4. Richard Fuller MP also made his misgivings about the planning process clear in a speech to Parliament on 2nd February 2021.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=TLGGrVVFfx2bQc4wNDAyMjAyMQ&v=JjlTU2uJeXo&feature=emb_title
  5. Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly said on 16 November 2020, “I am very concerned about the impact that these proposals would have on great swathes of my constituency, and I have already heard the concerns of many residents of those areas that would be directly affected. By his own admission, the operations director of Luton Airport accepts that our communities will be adversely affected by these proposals, suffering from additional noise pollution.”[1]
  6. On Thursday 12 November, Central Beds Council passed this motion: “This Council strongly opposes the current flight path proposals put forward by Luton Airport and NATS which affect most residents within Central Bedfordshire. It is completely inappropriate that those in the most affected areas are presented only with options resulting in large numbers of flights directly overhead. Furthermore, in light of this lack of options and the significant changes wrought on international travel by COVID, this Council believes the only appropriate course of action would be for Luton Airport to recommence the whole process, considering all options and this time include affected residents and local authorities right from the start. This Council asks the Portfolio Holder for Community Services and the Assistant Director for Community Services to write to Luton Airport and NATS requesting this course of action.”
  7. The CAA publication CAP1616 is the document which defines the airspace change process. It is debatable whether the current consultation exercise meets the definition in CAP 1616. For example, Section 6 of the ConDoc gives four pages of detailed instructions which LADACAN contends are “entirely unreasonable to expect people to follow, and Schedule E provides a plethora of tiny contour maps in which place names cannot be made out and the codification is unclear…The online “virtual town hall” looks very smart but could be seen as a case of making bad news look nice through window dressing.”  The consultation should be displaying clear information with quantifiable effects on communities around Luton – it does not.
  8. In February 2020, the UK Court of Appeal declared the planned third runway at Heathrow Airport illegal as it breached the UK’s climate mitigation commitments and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Ministers said at the time that they accepted the decision and would not appeal.  In October 2020 Heathrow Airport commenced an appeal to the Supreme Court. ​That appeal has been successful. But airport executives at Heathrow accept that there is no requirement to expand capacity for a number of years. And if they do, what purpose is there in expanding Luton?
  9. Mark Williams, Chairman of Community Alternatives to Luton’s Flight Path (C.A.L.F.) and a transport economist of 25 years’ experience, ​ says “I believe that the regional airport expansion plans are being rushed through with limited consultation. ​We at CALF believes that Luton’s airport expansion plans including this new stack and descent path should be put on hold for the short period until the Supreme Court has made its decision, because its view on Heathrow will set a precedent for other airport expansion plans. Furthermore, as local MPs have made clear, communities that may be affected need more time to review, understand and respond to this complex issue than the poorly-publicised, 15-week consultation exercise affords.”

[1] https://www.huntspost.co.uk/news/flight-path-concerns-raised-by-huntingdon-mp-1-6932752

%d bloggers like this: