HALE has been given permission to publish this open letter from a South Luton resident to Robin Harris of Luton Borough Council and Mark Turner of LLAL. It makes grim reading:
Hello Mr Harris and colleagues,
I write to express my dissatisfaction at both yours and Neil Thompson’s absence last Saturday morning from the Breachwood Green HALE meeting.
Despite their invitation, I understand you were not there as the meeting took place outside Luton. It was a missed opportunity for you to put forward your side re the expansion of Luton Airport. As someone who works for the tax payers of Luton – I would like you to have been there. I was and so were other people from Luton. This type of planned expansion negates any county boundaries in my opinion.
The residents of this part of Luton are not all in favour of the expansion despite the spin in the media, and the line toed by the council. On that note, trying to sell it to us by saying what a great neighbour the Airport is – reducing our council tax, creating thousands of jobs (which I don’t believe), and bringing our economy up, is not fair.
The Airport is not a good neighbour. Swathe changes, unbearable noise, night flights, air pollution – these things cannot be mitigated against. Any expansion would see this become worse.
I would like my Council tax to go up please. I have no problem with my money being spent on good causes to bring this town up to the levels of some of our Hertfordshire neighbours.
There may well be several hundred new jobs created at the Airport. How many top jobs would go to the people of Luton? None. They would be offered the menial jobs. All the management people would come from outside; wouldn’t live here, wouldn’t want to live here what with the unfair press our town gets and the fact that it is kept in a deliberate perceived state of deprivation. They wouldn’t want to shop here – there are so very few decent shops in Luton.
People flying out are not going to pop into town to shop. The only view they would have of Luton is as they fly off and back again. Exactly how is that improving our economy?
I appreciate a planning application has yet to be submitted and at that point we are going to be asked our opinions – what a pity you chose not to come along to the meeting and allay fears we all have about the proposals. And I include our neighbours in Hertfordshire. Being over the border makes their voice no less important.
Dacorum council I am led to believe are behind the residents as far as is possible. Harpenden council is sending a questionnaire to residents. What a shame we haven’t been offered that. By the time that planning application is submitted it will be too late for us. The expansion will come whatever we think.
We are having so much forced upon us in this part of Luton. J10a ‘improvements’ – we all know that expansion is for the Airport regardless of how it is otherwise sold to us. 18 months of roadworks to look forward to. And the Airport have contributed not one penny to that project I am told.
We have the awful vanity project guided busway coming soon. Still haven’t met one person who says they are going to use it.
We have LBC’s planning dept giving permission for people in our Conservation Area to convert large family homes to HMO’s with all the trouble that brings. And now, building in back gardens.
I think the Airport should be willing to compensate us – those of us who haven’t moved yet. I have never seen so many houses in this area for sale in all the time I have lived here. Isn’t that sad. I imagine I and my neighbours are looking at a substantial decrease in house prices once the Airport expands.
Who wants to live here with the prospect of noisy smelly planes overhead every 90 seconds. The windows in my 100 odd year old house rattle when planes fly over. The cost to replace those in wood or dreaded plastic runs into £1000′s. Are the airport, as a good neighbour going to pay to have all our windows replaced and our homes insulated?
Or, how about they buy all our homes at the going market rate?
Luton airport is simply not in the right place to expand. The road infrastructure, rail etc cannot cope with it as it is. To expect up to 30 million people pa to use the airport is pie in the sky. 1/2 the population of the UK coming through there every year? Simply ridiculous. The proposal for 18 million is bad enough. That would double the current usage.
The skies are full already. You could put people’s safety at risk – in the air and of course us residents.
HC (name supplied)