Objecting to Condition 10 variation

Luton Airport operators LLAOL have applied to Luton Borough Council, airport owners, for permission to set aside a key noise control Planning Condition for 5 years. Doing this would enable the airport to fly more planes without first delivering on their promises of quieter aircraft at higher altitudes on redesigned flight paths. LADACAN is objecting on behalf of its members, and invites as many people as possible to do the same.

Planning Condition 10 was put in place to set a limit on the airport’s “noise footprint”. This footprint is calculated each year based on the number and loudness of aircraft and the duration of their transits, averaged over 16 hours in the day and 8 hours at night. When permission to expand was granted, this key provision was set in place by LBC specifically “to protect residential amenity”. The airport now wants it to be disregarded.

Three powerful reasons for objecting strongly to this application can be summed up in one word: INJUSTICE.

1) The airport operators have known for some time that they were going to breach the planning condition, yet have failed to take action to prevent the breach, no doubt assuming they could apply to LBC effectively as their “owners” to have it waved away.

2) The reason for the breach is the rapid rate of increase in flight numbers, which has outstripped the planned noise mitigations. The airport operator has been saying this for years in its Annual Monitoring Reports, yet LBC has failed to scrutinise the operation.

3) Faster-than-projected growth was directly incentivised by the airport owners LLAL by offering a financial rebate to the operators immediately following the December 2013 planning meeting which agreed the balanced package of conditions and expansion.

Even in the Environmental Statement supporting the application, the airport operator has not had the courage to spell out clearly what the impact of allowing the breach to continue for 5 years would be. Their consultants have sought to mislead the planning committee and ordinary people by describing the increased noise impact as “negligible” or having “no effect” or being of “minor impact”. What they do not make clear is that the impact of a 1dB LAeq change in a noise footprint is equivalent to some 35-50 flights per day which would not otherwise be permitted.

How to register an objection:

  • Go to the LBC planning portal at https://planning.luton.gov.uk/online-applications/
  • Select the Register button and enter your details
  • Confirm and log on if required and select the Search option from the portal
  • Enter the reference 15/00950/VARCON and click Search
  • Select the first entry “Application to vary Condition 10”
  • From there you can select Documents to view the details
  • From there you can also select “Make a comment”

It takes a time for comments to appear on the site. Please do read their non technical summary, and in any objection to describe the reasons for objecting to the airport being allowed to continue making this additional noise, and what your noise experience is like.

Unsure what this is all about? Visit our FAQ page here>> FAQ on Condition 10