The Century Park planning applications have been submitted and validated. 

There are two applications, which can be viewed on the Luton Borough Council planning website <link>:

  1. 17/02300/EIA seeks outline consent for a business park comprising office space (Class B1), warehouse and industrial space (Class B2 and B8), mixed employment space (Class B1/B2/B8), a hotel (Class C1), cafe space (Class A3); energy recovery centre (sui generis) and associated works;
    And full detailed consent for the construction of a 2km Century Park Access Road incorporating a new junction on the A1081, alterations to the existing Airport Way roundabout, alterations to Frank Lester Way, a newly created access from Eaton Green Road, demolition of buildings, provision of replacement car parking (temporary and permanent), associated works; the creation of new public open space; extension and alterations to Wigmore pavilion to provide cafe (Class A3) and additional community space; construction of a new skate park and children’s play area; and construction of a replacement airport technical services building and associated parking.
  2. 17/02219/FUL seeks permission for the moving of 331,400 cubic metres of spoil material within the site for the purposes of changing the ground levels.

It seems clear that the Council is intending to deal with these applications itself even though, for all practical purposes, they are both the Council’s own applications.  This is because the applications have been submitted by London Luton Airport Limited (the company that owns London Luton Airport), of which Luton Borough Council is the sole 100 per cent shareholder.

We would urge anybody concerned about the Council assessing its own planning application to write to Rt. Hon. Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government.

A template is provided below:

********

Rt. Hon. Sajid Javid,

Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government,

Department for Housing, Communities & Local Government,

2 Marsham Street,

London SW1P 4DF

 

Dear Sir,

We ask for Government intervention urgently because Luton Borough Council has submitted two very large and complex planning applications to itself. It will judge and decide these very large and complex planning applications by itself and for itself. Luton Borough Council is the Planning Authority for the area.

If approved and subsequently developed the proposals would have a massive impact on the town of Luton generally and on the immediate neighbourhood. Nothing in this letter should be interpreted as either support or objection to the actual proposals contained within the planning applications. My only reason for contacting you is concern about the way in which the applications are to be dealt with.

Whilst technically the applications have been submitted to Luton Borough Council by London Luton Airport Limited and not in the name of the Council, Luton Borough Council is the sole 100 per cent shareholder of London Luton Airport Limited, the company which owns London Luton Airport.

London Luton Airport Limited has no employees and all administration, accounting and executive management functions are carried out by Luton Borough Council employees. All of the directors of the Company are elected Luton Borough Councillors.

The two applications relate to an area to the East of the Airport known as Century Park. The land is owned by London Luton Airport Limited and was purchased by the Company using a substantial loan from its shareholder, Luton Borough Council.

The applications were validated and placed on the Council website on 3rd January.

Application reference 17/02300/EIA seeks outline consent for a business park comprising office space (Class B1), warehouse and industrial space (Class B2 and B8), mixed employment space (Class B1/B2/B8), a hotel (Class C1), cafe space (Class A3); energy recovery centre (sui generis) and associated works;

And full detailed consent for the construction of a 2km Century Park Access Road incorporating a new junction on the A1081, alterations to the existing Airport Way roundabout, alterations to Frank Lester Way, a newly created access from Eaton Green Road, demolition of buildings, provision of replacement car parking (temporary and permanent), associated works; the creation of new public open space; extension and alterations to Wigmore pavilion to provide cafe (Class A3) and additional community space; construction of a new skate park and children’s play area; and construction of a replacement airport technical services building and associated parking.

The second application, 17/02219/FUL, seeks permission for the moving of 331,400 cubic metres of spoil material within the site for the purposes of changing the ground levels.

It is clear the Council is intending to deal with these applications itself even though, for all practical purposes, they are both the Council’s own applications.

In view of the extremely close relationship between the applicant Company and the Planning Authority there must be serious questions about the ability of the Council to consider these huge applications with the necessary independence of mind, with absolute impartiality and to judge the applications in a truly unbiased manner.

You are requested to urgently call in these two applications for determination by yourself following careful consideration by your Planning Inspectorate.

Thank you for reading this letter,

 

Sincerely,

 

[Add your name & address here.]

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The apparent lack of effective action by Luton’s Labour Council needs to be challenged and we are the only people doing it” claims Liberal Democrat leader on Luton Council, Cllr. David Franks.

Luton’s Liberal Democrat councillors are calling for a full report to be made to the Council’s Overview & Scrutiny Board after figures released by Liberal Democrat HQ revealed that there are 777 empty homes in Luton, 269 of them have been empty for more than two years and 29 for ten years.

“According to these figures, in the year 2016-17 only three empty homes were brought into use by the direct action of Luton Council and in the last five years they have not once used the Empty Dwelling Management Order powers which would have allowed them to take over empty houses and flats and use them to house local families”, says Cllr. David Franks. “Labour Councillors have some explaining to do.”

“The apparent lack of effective action by Luton’s Labour Council needs to be challenged and we are the only people doing it.”

The full report will be considered by the Council’s Overview & Scrutiny Board at a future meeting. The Board meets regularly at the Town Hall and the meetings are open to the public. Residents and press representatives are encouraged to attend.