A delayed decision on the expansion of London Luton Airport is expected tomorrow after the councillors in the town sought legal advice on its own impartiality in deciding the bid.
Luton Borough Council, which owns the airport, will now hold a special meeting tomorrow morning to consider the application to increase its capacity from 12 million to 18 million passengers a year.
The meeting was deferred after Herts County Council demanded a second, impartial legal opinion on the borough council’s suitability to make the decision, given its position.
Describing the delay until just before Christmas as ‘regrettable’, a council spokesman said: “Our role as a local planning authority is entirely separate to that as shareholder of London Luton Airport Ltd. Each is run wholly independently of each other, with their respective functions entirely separate. Government policy is for decisions on planning applications to be made locally wherever possible and this is normal practice for councils.”
In addition the council is also bound to seek authorisation from the Secretary of State of Communities and Local Government before approving the bid.
Luton Borough Council has received 455 objections and 43 representations in support of the application, which involves construction of a multi-storey car park, road layout changes and taxiway extensions.