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Home / News and Insights / News / BDB Pitmans helps Luton Rising achieve key planning milestone for London Luton Airport’s expansion

Luton Rising’s application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) for the sustainable long-term growth of London Luton Airport has this week been accepted for detailed examination by the Planning Inspectorate.

Leading UK law firm BDB Pitmans has been working with Luton Rising on the expansion proposals for the airport, which include a second terminal, since the inception of the project in 2017.

The expansion plans to increase the capacity of the airport to 32 million passengers a year and could support the creation of more than 10,000 jobs and generate £1.5 billion of additional economic activity.

The project is designed to support Luton Rising’s aspiration to become a leader in sustainable aviation, its unique community funding programmes, and Luton’s 2040 Vision for a carbon-neutral town, built on fairness, where no-one needs to live in poverty.

The expansion includes a ground-breaking ‘Green Controlled Growth’ framework, which would set legally binding and independently monitored environmental limits for carbon emissions, air quality, noise, and surface access – how people get to and from the airport.

For every passenger above the airport’s current capacity, an additional £1 would also be invested into Luton and neighbouring communities for programmes tackling local deprivation and decarbonisation – providing up to an additional £14 million every year.

BDB Pitmans was one of the first law firms to focus on DCO work and now has the largest specialist team in the UK in this area, rated as ‘Tier 1’ by the Legal 500 for Infrastructure Planning. The team specialises in large-scale projects in the transport and energy sectors and to date, has advised on the promotion of more than 35 nationally significant infrastructure projects with a 100% success record of securing DCO consent for its clients.

As the market-leading firm in the delivery of DCOs, the firm has an enviable track record of advising public and private sector clients on some of the most complicated infrastructure projects in the UK. The firm’s multi-service offering means that it is equipped to support all aspects of the development cycle.

The BDB Pitmans team on this project is led by partner Tom Henderson. He commented:

‘This is a great achievement for our client Luton Rising, and one we are extremely proud to be involved in.  London Luton Airport is a major asset for the people of Luton, and the expansion proposals would generate significant and much needed social and economic benefits locally and regionally, undertaken in an environmentally sustainable way that sets new and innovative standards for managing the effects of airport growth.

‘Preparing and submitting a Development Consent Order requires meeting stringent procedural requirements and extensive supporting documentation. As these matters are dealt with at a national level by the government, highly specialised legal advice is required to deal with this complex, niche area of law. The team should be very proud to have reached the next stage of the planning process.’

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