Luton airport says no to growth

PROPOSALS to build a new runway at a British airport whose flights go over Suffolk every day have been withdrawn.

PROPOSALS to build a new runway at a British airport whose flights go over Suffolk every day have been withdrawn.

The decision by Luton Airport owners TBI not to press ahead with the project will limit the number of extra jets which would have passed overhead.

It will also give great encouragement to protesters fighting plans to stop Stansted expanding and who are battling at a public inquiry to prevent the airport securing the first phase of its development, which would add 23,000 flights to the skies.

TBI had planned to build a full length replacement runway to the south of the existing runway, with a new terminal, at Luton.

Airport bosses said the plans had been shelved because it would take too long to make a return on the money it would cost to build. They said they would now focus on the existing airport site instead.

Demetrio Ullastres, chairman of TBI, said: “We are committed to the delivery of facilities that meet the needs of our customers and at the same time fulfil our shareholder expectations. Therefore, we have decided that our proposals should focus on making the most of the existing airport site.

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“As a result we have withdrawn the current draft masterplan.

“This described a full length replacement runway 950 metres to the south of the existing runway with adjacent terminal facilities. We will not be pursuing this option further.”

New proposals will be published later this year to set out the framework for the airport's development over the next eight years.

People living near the airport had staged protests over the plan.

Environmentalists had also warned such an expansion would feed travellers' desire for cheap air travel, which they have described as a serious threat to the global climate.

n Are you glad the Luton plans have been shelved? Do you think Stansted should be allowed to expand? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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