St Albans District Council is to maintain a ‘strong objection’ to proposals that would ease noise restrictions on Luton Airport, despite the submission of additional information.

London Luton Airport has asked for permission to relax the controls currently in place to limit aircraft noise on the ground.

Current controls dictate that daytime aircraft noise should only reach levels of 57dB on an area of ground covering 19.4sq km.

But the airport has asked for that to be relaxed so the ‘noise contour’ covers 23.4sq km until the end of 2024.

And it has also asked for an extension of the night-time ‘noise contour’, to allow sound to reach 48dB on an area covering 44.1sq km instead of the current 37.2sq km to the end of 2024.

It is said that “unprecedented” levels of growth in passenger numbers has resulted in the existing night-time controls being breached, and the daytime contour area is only just within permitted levels.

Councillors in St Albans considered the proposal  – which will ultimately be determined by Luton Borough Council – in June, when they agreed to raise a “strong objection”.

But on Monday (September 30) the St Albans District Council’s planning referrals committee was asked to consider further information in respect to noise levels and modelling, mitigation measures and of the economic impact of complying with the existing condition.

According to the additional information, the revised noise modelling suggests the existing day-time noise contour will be exceeded in 2019 – but not between 2020 and 2028.

And it suggests the night-time noise contour will be exceeded in 2020, reducing to within current approved limits by 2028.

In mitigation it reports that the ‘annual noise insulation fund’ would be increased further to £400,000 in 2020 and 2021; £300,000 in 2022 to 2025 and £200,000 from 2026 to 2028.

And it suggests limits would be set on the types of aircraft that were allocated certain slots, no non-emergency diversions would be accepted and charging would be implemented from 2019 to incentivise a faster modernisation of fleets.

It is also reported that failure to support the variation could result in losses to the airport of between £12 million and £25 million a year – and could also lead to job losses.

However councillors at the meeting on Monday (September 30) agreed that the council should continue to object to the proposal, as part of Luton Borough Council’s consultation.

The objection states that “any increase in noise disturbance for residents is unsatisfactory” and it says the number of additional homes  affected is “significant, unjustified and unacceptable”.

And it calls for Luton Borough Council to be sure existing noise restrictions cannot be achieved by other means.