The Forum is working on its response to the Planning Application. Responses need to be submitted by 18th February. Click here to get access to the relevant documents
These are some of the points on which our objection will be based, and which members might like to use in preparing their own objections
- The application is for proposals to enable an increase in passenger numbers from 12.4 million passengers per annum to 17.8 mppa. This will mean a 58% increase in flights by 2028. We estimate this to mean that, on a quiet day in winter there is likely to be in excess of 160 take-offs or landings, with more in the summer.
- Within the 57LAeq noise contour this equates to being exposed to the noise from heavy traffic for periods of at least 30 seconds every time an aircraft takes off or lands. 6200 people are exposed to at least this level of disturbance, and quiet’ footpaths and lanes in the area to the east of the airport, used extensively by residents of the villages and neighbouring towns, will be further blighted for recreational use.
- Hitchin itself currently experiences impacts from night flights which are expected to increase. A significant number of flights are allowed to divert over Hitchin on a regular basis. Increased flights mean more crowded airspace, and therefore increased chances of over-flight of Hitchin.
- Mitigation measures proposed are inadequate. The airport’s Noise Action Plan (together with 6 new noise mitigation measures) does not have clear measurable targets or deadlines to achieve them..The plan is to be reviewed every 5 years which is insufficient to allow it to react to changes (e.g. in fleet composition or the economy).
- It is understood that 12.5% of airport access traffic currently passes through Hitchin. The application concedes that the main traffic impact outside of Luton will be on Hitchin, with the most significant increases in traffic expected in the early morning from 4.00 a.m. to 7.00 a.m. Between 5.00 and 6.00 a.m. an extra 202 cars are predicted to pass through the town.
- This additional traffic is unlikely to cause congestion but will affect amenity in the town particularly on main through routes.
- There is no mention of any attempt to mitigate the effects of increased traffic in Hitchin, and no mention of any changes to public transport (e.g. providing buses from the station) to encourage public transport use..
See document 148_ES__Appendix D_01_Economic_and _employment
The Application uses economic benefits and particularly employment opportunities to justify the development. It is argued that there would be 11,050 direct jobs in the base case (of 12.4mppa in 2028) but 13,350 if the development goes ahead: a difference of 2300.
However, over recent years airlines have become more efficient, especially budget airlines, and they will seek to cut costs further in future. This, together with any continued economic downturn, means that optimistic predictions are not justified. Indeed evidence from Stansted and elsewhere suggests that airports routinely over-state the employment case in planning applications.
This list is not exhaustive and should not limit members’ creativity in any way. There is some excellent information from both LADACAN and HALE, and if you have not yet signed the petition to have the application called-in by the Secretary of State, please use the link below.
LADACAN – website not working
and HALE http://www.hale.uk.net/
To make contact with the Forum’s coordinator of airport issues try firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a LADACAN meeting 7.00pm on Monday 4th February in Breachwood Green Village Hall, with speakers from the County and District Councils.