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20 December 2013, 19:30
Luton Borough Council have tonight (Friday 20th) given the go-ahead for Luton Airport's plans for a raft of improvements and developments.
In a statement to Heart, London Luton Airport Operations Ltd (LLAOL) said: "We are delighted to announce our planning application to meet growing demand and improve passenger experience has been approved by Luton Borough Council. The Department for Communities and Local Government will now consider whether the application should be determined by the Secretary of State or whether the Council can proceed to issue the consent.
The good news comes after a year of rigorous scrutiny from the Local Planning Authority, who twice extended the planning review period, from neighbouring Councils, and independent 3rd party specialists.
The development and modernisation of London Luton will position the Airport as the quick, convenient and efficient Low Cost alternative to its London counterparts; alleviating existing and future constraints, and opening up the local region to new holiday destinations, business travel and inward investment.
The development puts passengers at the heart of the design, and once complete, will make their journeys quicker, easier and more comfortable. Construction will take place over three phases and will:
Commenting on the announcement, Glyn Jones, Managing Director of the Airport said: "We have committed to developing an Airport which everyone in the local area will be proud of, and passengers from all over the world will enjoy visiting. In the year of our 75th Anniversary this is an exciting milestone for all of us at the Airport, the local area, and the millions of passengers who use us for business travel, to visit friends and family or to get away on holiday."
The Hon. Gavin Shuker, MP for Luton South welcomed the news, adding: "This is a great day for the town, and a much needed boost for our local economy. London Luton has returned over £210m in concession payments to the Council since 1998, and it is good news for local taxpayers that these are set to increase between now and 2031 as the Airport develops."
Hugh Aitken, UK Commercial Manager for easyJet, also commented: "Luton was easyJet’s first base in 1995 and remains our spiritual home. This decision is an important step in helping Luton to realise its potential and enabling it to play a greater role in serving the transport needs of North London. We look forward to working with the airport and seeing the plans develop."
Cheryl Smart MBE, Chief Executive of the Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, added: "Whether you work in business, or are looking for a job, this is exciting news and important to the local economy! The development is expected to generate approximately £218m in added annual value to the economy, and bring over 5,000 much needed jobs to our area."