From 8 February until 4 April, Luton Rising held a statutory consultation on the long-term proposals to increase the capacity of the airport to 32 million passengers per year, by building a new terminal and making the best use of the existing runway.
Members of the public were able to view the proposals, including plans to mitigate the impact of growth and ask questions at an exhibition held in a number of different public venues across the region. In addition, they were able to view the exhibition virtually online, as well as several films and all the relevant documentation. In total more than 15,000 people viewed the proposals either in-person or online, with thousands more hearing more about the proposals at community events and forums. As a result more than 2,500 people have submitted their written views.
A special hybrid Question Time event was also held last week at the University of Bedfordshire, where those attending in-person and online were able to ask a panel of experts questions on the expansion plans. In addition, the consultation provided a range of opportunities for the local community to learn about the proposals at events and stalls, including at places of worship, community centres and events, conferences, business forums, London Luton Airport and the Mall in Luton.
Councillor Javeria Hussain, Chair of Luton Rising, said: “We are pleased to see so many people engage with the consultation and we will review every single piece of feedback over the coming weeks. Our proposals reflect the values, both of Luton Rising, and our sole shareholder, Luton Council. We want to maximise the social and economic benefits of growth and firmly believe there is a way to grow an airport in a sustainably responsible way. Our plans affirm a commitment to delivering these benefits directly to those local to the area.”
Graham Olver, Chief Executive of Luton Rising said, “We are grateful to everyone who gave their feedback in the consultation. Feedback is what holds us to account by ensuring our proposals are as good as they can be and will play a key role in ensuring we make the optimum Development Consent Order submission to the government later this year so I would like to personally thank every single person who engaged with us over the last few weeks.”
A wide range of views were provided in the consultation both for and against the proposals. These responses and suggestions for improvement are being analysed and considered as we finalise our application. Luton Rising will then submit an application to the Planning Inspectorate for a Development Consent Order (DCO). The DCO would provide consent to build, operate and maintain the scheme, and the decision about whether to grant the DCO will be made by the Secretary of State for Transport.