Luton Airport expansion plan: QC to oversee application

Luton Airport Luton boasts the fifth largest airport in the UK

Related Stories

An independent barrister will oversee a planning application for an expansion of Luton Airport to ensure impartiality, the council has said.

The airport wants to increase capacity from 12m to 18m passengers a year.

Luton Borough Council backs the scheme, but recognises it faces opposition from Hertfordshire residents whose council requested the QC to ensure fairness.

London Luton Airport Ltd owns the airport infrastructure but all the shares belong to Luton Borough Council.

The council said it had appointed aviation planning specialist John Steele QC to conduct a full independent review of the expansion application.

'Hand it over'

However, a Luton council spokesman maintained that its role as the local planning authority was entirely separate from its one as Luton Airport shareholder.

But Hitchin and Harpenden MP Peter Lilley said the planning minister should take the decision out of Luton's hands.

The Conservative MP said: "The only way to ensure the process is, and is seen to be, independent is to hand it over to an independent body," he said.

"I have always maintained that Luton Council should not be making this decision as the council itself is the prime beneficiary from expansion of the airport.

"I hope that the legal review will come to the same conclusion."

The contract to run the airport was acquired by Spanish air giant AENA and investors Ardian on Wednesday after being sold by Abertis.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Beds, Herts & Bucks

Weather

Luton

17 °C 11 °C

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

Programmes

  • Islamic StateClick Watch

    Can the location of Islamic State militants be found with open source data?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.