Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning has condemned an eight-hour planning meeting on the expansion of London Luton Airport as ‘underhand’.
The marathon meet by Luton Borough Council approved in principle the proposals to increase airport capacity to 18 million passengers a year, but this will now be reviewed to see whether the council can proceed to issue consent.
Mr Penning has since released a letter from Transport Minister Robert Goodwill which reveals Luton Borough Council was directed not to grant permission at the meeting, which took place on December 20.
Mr Penning said: “It seems to me to have been irresponsible and underhand to rush through planning permission just before Christmas, at a meeting that included just a handful of Councillors and apparently against instructions from the Department of Communities and Local Government.
“There is clearly a conflict of interests – given that Luton Borough Council holds all the shares in London Luton Airport Limited – and now this would appear to be a case of maladministration as well. The handling of this application clearly needs to be looked into and I repeat my call for the Secretary of State to call in the decision.”