Source: BBC News
London Luton Airport’s bid to relax noise limits has not adequately considered the adverse impact on residents, a report has said.
The airport applied to its owners Luton Borough Council to lift the noise conditions it applied for when it asked for planning permission to expand.
But noise consultants Cole Jarman said it had not offered any mitigation against the increased noise levels.
The airport said it would “respond fully” to the report.
Luton Airport applied for permission to relax “noise control” after an unexpectedly quick expansion of passenger numbers.
The council ordered the assessment by independent professionals in its role as the local planning authority to “assess the impacts of the airport operators planning application to vary condition 10”, which limits the amount of noise the airport is allowed to make.
It sets limits on its “noise footprint”, an area inside which the average noise is higher than a given amount.
Cole Jarman’s report concluded the airport’s noise assessment provided in its application was “inadequate in that it does not provide a sufficient description of the adverse effects likely to arise and offers no effective means of mitigating significant adverse effects”.
Airport operations director Neil Thompson said: “We note the comments from the local authority and will respond to them fully as part of the ongoing planning process.
“London Luton Airport adheres to some of the strictest noise control measures of any major UK airport.
“However, due to faster than predicted passenger growth, we are seeking a temporary variation to just one of those many controls, to allow time for newer, quieter models of aircraft to be introduced.”
Andrew Lambourne, from Luton And District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise, said: “This expert report vindicates our position and exposes the total lack of concern which the airport has for local residents.”
Luton Borough Council said: “We are still considering the application and cannot make any further comments at this time.”