London Luton Airport: MP asks for expansion plan to be called in

  • Published
London Luton
Image caption,
The cap on passenger numbers at London Luton Airport is rising to 19 million

An MP has called on the government to review plans to allow for a million more passengers through Luton Airport

Earlier this month, Luton Borough Council approved the airport's plans for expansion and to vary the noise conditions it operates under.

Conservative MP Bim Afolami said he had asked Communities Secretary Michael Gove to "call-in" the decision.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) said it would consider requests for a call-in.

The government has the power to "call in" planning applications that local authorities approve, and make the ultimate decision.

This usually happens in cases where the decision may have wider effects beyond the immediate locality or potentially conflict with national policy

The plans approved by the council - which owns the UK's fifth-busiest airport - mean it would be able to handle 19 million people a year, up from 18 million.

Amendments to the current noise contours, which measure how many people are affected by noise from the airport, were also approved.

Opponents have said the airport is already failing to meet conditions and this would mean even more flights and noise.

In a letter to the DLUHC, Mr Afolami, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, said the decision to approve the expansion "completely ignores the environmental and cross-boundary impact".

"A change to contour limits and and an increase [in] passenger numbers greatly impacts a wider area than Luton Borough Council and given the extent to which local residents are ignored, the borough council should not hold the authority to approve a decision... to adjust [the airport's] operations," the letter said.

He added he had written the letter alongside a joint letter from local groups, including the Luton and District Association for Control of Aircraft Noise (LADACAN) and Harpenden Sky.

Posting a copy on his Facebook page, Mr Afolami said: "I have written to the secretary of state to request that these plans be called in by government to allow this decision to be made independently."

In a statement, the DLUHC said it had received a number of requests to call in the plans, and that a decision on whether to do so would be announced in due course.

Find BBC News: East of England on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you have a story suggestion email

Related Internet Links

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