(i) the development shall not be occupied until the proposed widening of the M1 Motorway, Junctions 6A-10, has been completed, unless the Highways A gency is satisfied that the use did not have an unacceptable impact on the motorway, and shall not compromise the safety of road users;
(ii) planning permission will not be granted unless public transport services are secured to meet the expected demand arising from the development, and provision is made for a ‘park and ride’ facility;
(iii) car parking provision will not exceed the maximum standard specified in Appendix 4, and will not detract from the appearance of its surroundings;
(iv) the development will not dominate or detract from the appearance of the adjoining Green Belt, Area of Great Landscape Value or County Wildlife Site;
(v) the development will not be of a height that compromises the safety of those using London Luton Airport;
(vi) the development will protect features of nature conservation interest;
(vii) public rights of way and the rights of public utility providers will be safeguarded;
(viii) enabling development will not be to a scale that exceeds that of the related sports facilities, or adversely affects the regeneration of the central area.
9.46 Marsh Farm is located on the northern outskirts of Luton adjacent to Bramingham Wood County Wildlife site. The estate was primarily local authority built in the late 1960’s/early 1970’s, comprising approximately 4,000 dwellings and a population of 9,000. Approximately half of the dwellings are currently in private ownership.
9.47 Community facilities within Marsh Farm are currently limited, but include schools, a neighbourhood centre, a recreation/leisure centre, health centre and a community enterprise and resource centre temporarily located in the former Coulter building. The neighbourhood centre, the Purley Centre, is in the centre of Marsh Farm and includes local shops, market area, library, community centre, residential properties and housing office.
9.48 Marsh Farm is characterised by severe problems of multiple deprivation, including unemployment, poverty, lack of skills, poor educational achievement, and poor health. In recognition of the multi-faceted nature and severity of problems, Marsh Farm was designated a New Deal for Communities (NDC) neighbourhood in 2000. Funding totalling £48 million has been awarded to support the comprehensive regeneration of the estate over the next 10 years. The Marsh Farm Community Development Trust (MFCDT) administers the programme.
9.49 The MFCDT vision is:
‘To achieve a pioneering, forward looking, sustainable and capable community which is able to work and enjoy a quality of life that is full of opportunity and optimism’.
9.50 The MFCDT NDC 10 year delivery plan highlights the main areas of physical regeneration, namely the provision of a permanent community enterprise and resource centre, the refurbishment or redevelopment of the Purley Centre, and the physical condition and occupation within the three tower blocks adjacent to Wauluds Bank.
9.51 A master plan will be prepared for the estate. The key objectives of the exercise will be to establish a development and delivery plan to create a strong urban village centre that will meet the aspirations of the community, Council and other service providers together with creating a framework within which various projects/initiatives can be developed.
Within the Marsh Farm Action Area (identified as such on the Proposals Map) the council will grant planning permission for:
9.52 High Town is one of the older areas of the town and is situated immediately north of Luton central area. It is an area with its own character, physically separated from the central area by the Midland Mainline Railway. High Town can be separated into the following areas:
9.53 As an inner ward, High Town experiences many of the problems of deprivation, with issues such as poor housing condition, high levels of unemployment, high crime rates and an ageing population. The older housing areas have been targeted over a number of years through a programme called ‘Housing Plus’. This provides grants for renovation works and has also included environmental enhancement work.
9.54 Government funding through the Single Regeneration Budget and European funding through Objective 2 has also targeted the High Town area. The High Town Action Trust (HAT) has been set up to identify and deliver new facilities and services for the community and to assist the process of regeneration. A programme of activity is currently being implemented which includes the provision of a multi-purpose community, sports and arts centre, which will regenerate a long-term vacant site. The scheme will also include a new learning centre for Barnfield College to replace their existing building in Charles Street.
9.55 A key feature of the regeneration programme is work to enhance the High Town Road shopping area through the provision of grants for building refurbishment and an environmental and traffic management scheme. The projects selected for funding were part of a Renewal Plan for High Town prepared by the local community in consultation with key agencies such as the Council.
9.56 As well as the shopping area, there are many derelict and underused former industrial sites between High Town Road and Hitchin Road. Whilst the external funding has tackled some of the key issues affecting High Town, the longer-term future of the area needs to be considered in a comprehensive way. High Town has, therefore, been identified as an Action Area.
9.57 A masterplan is being prepared for the High Town Action Area, to help identify the community’s requirements with regard to the provision of community and other facilities and housing.
The central area of High Town, identified on the Proposals Map, is allocated as an Action Area within which development will be permitted which:
9.58 The freehold interest of London Luton Airport is vested in London Luton Airport Ltd, a private company wholly owned by Luton Borough Council, who have granted a concession and overriding lease to a private consortium London Luton Airport Operations Limited (LLAOL). TBI Plc is the majority shareholder in LLAOL. LLAOL is the licensed operator of the Airport, responsible for its management and development.
9.59 London Luton Airport is a major commercial airport serving London, the South East, the Midlands and the East of England. The Airport has grown principally as a holiday charter airport, but has now established itself as a base for low cost, general aviation for the business market, providing a major gateway to Scotland, Ireland and the rest of Europe, and has increased its range of scheduled services to many international destinations.
9.60 Freight transport is an important part of the Airport’s business. The current cargo centre was opened in 1993 to rationalise and expand freight handling facilities.
9.61 London Luton Airport has an international reputation as both a business aviation and aircraft maintenance centre.
9.62 London Luton Airport is subject to National, Regional, County and local aviation planning policies. These consider the Airport in terms of its capacity for passengers and all identify London Luton Airport as being able, in policy terms, to provide capacity for up to 10 million passengers per annum (mppa), subject to environmental constraints related to aircraft noise and road traffic generation. An Annual Monitoring Report is produced jointly by the Borough Council and LLAOL in respect of these matters.
9.63 PPG 24 (Planning and Noise) has been prepared by the Government to give guidance to local authorities on how to minimise the adverse impact of noise. It:
9.64 PPG 24 is therefore a material consideration in assessing development proposals at London Luton Airport, and noise matters will need to be addressed in any Environmental Impact Assessment.
9.65 In 1995, the Government introduced the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order. This has the effect of increasing the range of development that could take place at London Luton Airport without planning consent, subject to certain criteria. The General Permitted Luton Local 120 Plan 2001 - 2011 Development Order requires that consultation with the Borough Council takes place for such development.
9.66 In respect of all applications relating to London Luton Airport, the Borough Council, as local planning authority, is committed to the widest possible consultation. Where such applications have the potential to significantly increase the capacity of the airport, the Borough Council will require LLAOL to submit an environmental statement in accordance with relevant legislation.
9.67 A Development Brief, produced by LLAOL, was adopted by the Borough Council as Supplementary Planning Guidance in September 2001. This sets out future developments at London Luton Airport, and includes taxiway links to allow better management of air traffic around the airport taxiways.
9.68 The Government produced a White Paper in December 2003 ‘The Future of Air Transport’ to provide a national strategy for air transport provision. It is anticipated that London Luton Airport will play an important part in providing runway capacity in the South East. Whilst London Luton Airport is still identified as a one-runway airport, the options show a longer runway (3000m), which potentially gives the Airport the capacity of around 31 mppa by 2030. Airport operators were required to produce Master Plans by December 2005, setting out how the White Paper’s proposals will be implemented.
9.69 As part of the long-term strategy for expansion, LLAOL is encouraging the ‘modal shift’ from private motor vehicles to public transport and produces an annual Surface Access Strategy, which sets out targets for sustainable travel for employees and passengers of the airport. For a period in 2002, the LLAOL reported that 30% of passengers travelled by public transport. LLAOL is working to increase the proportion of passengers travelling to and from the airport by public transport, for example, by improving the speed and frequency of the shuttle service to Luton Airport Parkway Station.
9.70 The prospect of increased employment at London Luton Airport is an important consideration. A successful airport can make an important contribution to the regeneration and economic viability of Luton.
9.71 The Luton/Dunstable/Houghton Regis conurbation is identified in RPG9 as a Priority Area for Economic Regeneration. An opinion expressed in background papers to SERAS, indicates that each 1mppa generates approximately 1,000 jobs, although it is generally accepted that the additional jobs would benefit a much wider area than the conurbation, and would be a significant boost to the regeneration of the local economy.
9.72 Expansion is, however, only acceptable if subject to environmental constraints, to ensure that the environment of Luton and the surrounding area of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire is not significantly affected. This includes environmental scrutiny of any proposed development.
9.73 Controlling aircraft noise is particularly important at Luton as the airport is situated close to residential areas. The Government proposes that Local Planning Authorities adopt policies which will benefit people living in the area, without imposing unreasonable constraints on operations. At the Luton Local Plan Inquiry in 2004, the Inspector recommended that a policy was adopted that would enable expansion, subject to noise impact that is below 1999 levels. The Inspector referred to the controls set out in the 1998 planning consent for the extension to the terminal building, which related to the predicted contours produced as part of the Environmental Statement submitted with the planning application. Aircraft noise has previously been monitored annually against 1984 levels, using noise contours produced for the Council by LLAOL, as part of the Annual Monitoring Report. The regime under which the airport currently operates refers to noise contours for 1999 from the 1997 Environmental Statement; applications for further development will also be assessed against a 1999 benchmark. Future editions of the Annual Monitoring Report will monitor levels against the predicted 1999 levels. Policy LLA1 will provide the basis for an effective and implementable control on aircraft noise, whilst allowing LLAOL the flexibility to determine how operations are to be modified to achieve noise control.
9.74 The term ‘airport related’ in Policy LLA1 refers to ‘developments that have a demonstrable need to be located at or in close proximity to the airport’.
9.75 London Luton Airport is located close to the national road and rail network, but its transport infrastructure is at present inadequate to cope with major expansion of the scale envisaged in the White Paper. Options for London Luton Airport outlined in this document identify the need for various improvements including: the implementation and extension of the Translink guided busway or other integrated public transport system to the airport, the construction of a Luton North- Eastern bypass linking the A505, London Luton Airport and the A1081, and the widening of the A1081, Airport Way. It is recognised that further measures will be required to relieve congestion between the M1 junctions 9 and 13 by 2030. Further details of these schemes are given in the Transportation Section.
Development at London Luton Airport
The Borough Council will grant planning permission for development at London Luton Airport (identified as such on the Proposals Map) provided that it:
9.76 Car parking demand is directly related to a growth in passenger throughput. Increased on-site car parking could provide additional capacity. Studies have shown that major expansion may require additional off-site car parking, even if there is a switch in emphasis from road to rail access. It is essential that such off-site facilities are located close to the strategic road network and away from residential areas to avoid the creation of traffic congestion and damage to the physical environment.
Airport-related car parking
The Borough Council will not grant planning permission for airportrelated car parking that is not at London Luton Airport (identified as such on the Proposals Map) unless it can be demonstrated that:
9.77 Expansion of London Luton Airport will bring new employment opportunities for the people of Luton. Major expansion proposals may encourage in-migration of people. This would bring new pressures for housing and other built development to the area. Luton has a limited capacity to accommodate further development without detriment to the environment and is surrounded by Green Belt, to be protected from such forms of development. It is therefore important that the likely physical effects of expansion upon the local area are taken into consideration when determining applications to ensure unsustainable development is avoided.
9.78 London Luton Airport can be seen from a variety of locations in Luton, South Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. New build development and road works will have a visual impact upon the local area. To mitigate the adverse effects on visual amenity, development applications will be required to contain details of proposed landscaping, including appropriate tree planting.
9.79 London Luton Airport is located above the chalk aquifer, which provides Luton with its drinking water. Care therefore has to be taken with the disposal of surface water from the Airport, in particular, run-off from runway and apron areas, which can contain de-icing chemicals and aviation fuel and therefore have the potential to seriously pollute. Treatment and disposal of surface water needs to be addressed fully in future proposals in the interests of protecting the water environment.
9.80 There is concern within local communities regarding kerosene odour and other forms of air pollution, which could increase as a result of increased air traffic. National and local studies suggest that indirect air pollution from increased road traffic may be of more concern than direct pollution from aircraft. LLAOL and the Borough Council carry out air quality monitoring. Any proposals for expansion would need to address the monitoring and management of air quality in any environmental statement.
9.81 Developments within the vicinity of airports need to be considered for any implications that they may have on airport operations. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Department for Transport (DfT) publish safeguarding maps for airports showing the area in which matters such as building height, interference with electronic and visual navigation aids, and bird attraction must be considered.
9.82 Advice notes have been produced jointly by the CAA, General Aviation Awareness Council (GAAV) and the Airport Operators Association (AOA) covering safeguarding, lighting near aerodromes, potential bird hazards from amenity landscaping and building design, cranes and other construction issues, and potential bird hazards from landfill sites. Copies of these notes are available from the CAA Safety Regulation Group.
9.83 The DfT map incorporates a Public Safety Zone (PSZ) at each threshold to the runway. The PSZ is the area within which development is restricted in order to control the number of people on the ground at risk of death or injury in the event of an aircraft accident on take-off or landing.
9.84 Within the PSZ, it is Government policy to advise against the granting of planning permission for any development likely to increase the number of people living, working or congregating in it. DfT Circular 1/2002 (Control of development in airport public safety zones) provides further guidance on constraints within these areas.
9.85 The Development Control Group of the Borough Council can give general advice on obtaining the above information, and developers are strongly recommended to discuss proposals and cranage prior to submission of schemes in the vicinity of London Luton Airport
Development within Public Safety Zones
Within the Public Safety Zones (as identified on the Proposals Map) planning permission will not be granted for:
9.86 Luton lies within an airport safeguarded area. Certain planning applications will be the subject of consultation with LLAOL and there may be restrictions on the height or detailed design of buildings, or on development which could create a bird hazard as described in ODPM Circular 1/2003 (Safeguarding aerodromes, technical sites and military explosives storage areas: The Town and Country Planning Direction 2002).
The Borough Council will not grant planning permission for development that would have adverse implications for the safe operation of London Luton Airport.
9.87 The Kimpton Road Action Area is designated in recognition of the major development opportunity presented by the former Vauxhall car plant. The site totals 23 hectares (57 acres), plus an area of 3.4 hectares (8.5 acres), which is to be retained as a Vehicle Release Facility (VRF) associated with the adjoining IBC plant.
9.88 The key aim of the Borough Council with regard to this site, is to deliver jobs, especially skilled jobs, which are considered to be particularly important in order to strengthen the economy. Accordingly, particular weight is placed on delivering business and industrial employment uses as a key component of the development. Jobs created in association with other land uses will also be taken into consideration, particularly where they involve skilled positions.
9.89 The former car plant has a number of constraints. There are substantial costs associated with its redevelopment, including the need to relocate existing operations from the site, decontamination, demolition, servicing and the creation of sufficient level areas, bearing in mind the fall of approximately 140 feet from one side of the site to the other.
Redevelopment at Kimpton Road
Planning permission will be granted for the comprehensive mixed-use redevelopment and/or re-use of the former Vauxhall car plant provided that:
9.90 The B1, B2 and B8 uses referred to in this policy relate to the Use Classes Order and are Business, General Industry and Warehousing/ Distribution respectively.
9.91 The Council’s objectives for the future of this site are:
(1) to maximise both the quantity and quality of job opportunities;
(2) to maximise the opportunity presented by this major previously-developed site;
(3) to ensure that any proposed development does not have an adverse effect upon the operation or amenity of neighbouring uses;
(4) to enhance the overall appearance of the site to the maximum possible effect;
(5) to seek to ensure development within a reasonable period of time; and
(6) to ensure that any development does not have any adverse effect upon the vitality or viability of the town centre.
Given the Council’s objectives for the future of this site, any development proposals which are not in accordance with the policy will need to demonstrate how all of these objectives will be successfully achieved.
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