Expansion plans which will see Luton Airport double in size have been approved by the Government.
This morning it was announced that Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Local Communities and Government, has decided not to call in the plans, meaning that Luton Borough Council can now grant planning permission for works, which would see 18 million passengers pass through every year.
Ever since initial proposals were announced in 2012 campaigners have been fighting against the expansion because of noise and air pollution.
Reacting to the news, Andrew Lambourne from Hertfordshire Against Luton Expansion (HALE) said: "The government is hell-bent on expanding airport capacity in the South East, come what may. Regardless of the fact that 70 per cent of the public who responded to the consultation over Luton Airport Expansion said no, ignoring the fact that aviation is the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gases, and despite the application technically constituting a nationally significant infrastructure project, Eric Pickles has failed to call this application in for proper scrutiny."
Luton Airport operators say plans could mean 45,000 extra flights and more than 5,000 new jobs.
Mr Lambourne continued: "The airport’s announcement this morning mentions everything except the key local issues: the effect of an extra nine million passengers per year on the already crowded transport infrastructure, and the effect of noise from 60 per cent more flights. The throwaway comment at the end about being a good neighbour is meaningless unless the airport takes seriously the concerns about noise and puts in place measures to make a difference. That means a Noise Action Plan which has some real bite."