Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley has expressed his regret following the announcement this morning by the Planning Minister, Rt Hon Nick Boles MP, that the Secretary of State will not be calling in the planning application for the proposed expansion of Luton Airport. He is disappointed that the Minister has not felt it appropriate to call the decision in despite Peter’s continued efforts to persuade him to do so.


    “I believe that it would have been in everybody’s interests to call this decision in, including Luton Borough Council, because an independent decision would have commanded universal confidence. As it is, the decision will be made by Luton Council, who own the airport and will be the prime beneficiary from expansion of the airport.


    “In addition, there have been unsatisfactory aspects in the planning process including conditions that do not go as far as the operator was prepared to concede. The operator promised to reduce night noise limits to 80dB by January 2015 and thereafter to 77dB, but the approval now contains a very watered-down condition that noisier classes of aircraft will be banned by an unspecified date sometime before 2028.


    “I will continue to press for any expansion of the airport to be made as acceptable to local residents as possible – reducing noise from additional flights through better routing and quieter planes, and ensuring that the infrastructure will be adequate to cope with the increase in demand.”