§ 10. Mr. Allason
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what reply he has sent to the letter from the Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise dated 18th November about the grant of planning approval at Luton Airport.
§ Mr. Graham Page
I have had a copy from my hon. Friend the Member for St. Albans (Mr. Goodhew), and I am sending my hon. Friend a copy of my reply.
§ Mr. Allason
Is my hon. Friend aware that when planning permission was granted to Luton our right hon. Friend expressed confidence that Luton would not cause increased disturbance by aircraft noise, but that Luton now proposes to increase night jet flight take-offs by 42 per cent. in the season?
§ Mr. Allason
Will my hon. Friend please take enforcement action against this breach, in the interests of the environment?
§ Mr. Page
This is a difficult point, because my right hon. Friend has no power to control either the number of flights or the number of passengers using the airport. He has made it clear to Luton Borough Council that we recognise that there is widespread concern about the effects of aircraft noise in the area, particularly to the east of the airport, as a result of the intensification of activities there. We have asked the council to have due regard to these effects and to the adequacy of airport facilities before entering into future commitments with airline operators.
§ Mr. Rankin
Will the hon. Gentleman make it perfectly clear that he is not aiding and abetting a low-down plan to limit the activities of Luton Airport?
§ Mr. John Hall
Would my hon. Friend agree that aircraft noise is becoming an intolerable nuisance? Many of my constituents are suffering from the effects of over-flying not only from Luton but from London Airport. Is it not time that there was a national inquiry into the development and siting of present and future airports, and an inquiry into the effects of increasing noise on the wellbeing and welfare of people?