Supporters of the Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) replacement terminal development have written to Secretary of State calling for the plans to be approved.
Members of Leeds City Council’s city plans panel will tomorrow consider a raft of planning conditions attached to the development, which was approved in principle by planners last month.
The Leeds Bradford Airport Support Group say that would see the creation of thousands of jobs and a carbon net zero facility. They have asked the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick to not call in LBA’s plans to construct a three-floor, 34,000 square metre replacement terminal and allow amended daytime flying hours.
The plans, first announced in January 2020, replace a previously consented scheme and propose building a more efficient and sustainable terminal, which will create 12,650 permanent jobs for the Leeds City Region economy.
Earlier this week, 246 University of Leeds staff and postgraduate researchers signed an open letter calling on the government to take responsibility for the airport’s planning application, saying the proposals will wreck efforts to tackle the climate crisis.
The signatories, including Bramley based climate expert Paul Chatterton, said expanding LBA’s passenger numbers by 75% exceeded the maximum rate of growth that the Climate Change Committee considers compatible with the UK’s legally adopted net-zero target.
They warn that expansion would make it much more difficult – and more costly – for the UK to achieve its climate targets and would require reductions in passenger numbers elsewhere in the UK.
But Ross Bailey, a Bramley-based spokesperson for the Leeds Bradford Airport Support Group, today said the proposals were not about expansion and highlighted that LBA already has a 24-hour consent from Leeds City Council and a roadmap to 7 million passengers via the from the DfT’s ‘Airport Policy Framework 2013’ document. He said:
“LBA’s scheme does not impact upon Leeds City Council’s ability to meet its climate emergency commitments, as emissions for aviation are managed at a national and international level. It’s been stated throughout the proposal that the plans are about achieving net zero operations which otherwise will be difficult to achieve, creating a
BREEAM excellent-rated sustainable terminal to replace the existing one and delivering a much-needed improved passenger experience.
“In a recent petition, we recorded over 1,600 signatures supporting LBA’s proposal, demonstrating clearly that ordinary people want this scheme to go ahead. We hope that the Secretary of State recognizes this and the arguments presented to him in the coming weeks.”
Leeds City Council received almost 2,000 objections to the proposals. Opponents GALBA are calling for the Government to call in Leeds City Council’s decision, which they say is legally flawed. They want to ensure the application is heard at a public inquiry.
Estelle Dehon, of Cornerstone Barristers, is acting for GALBA. She said:
“Like the Cumbria coal mine decision, there are cogent reasons to say that the conditional approval of Leeds Bradford Airport expansion should be called in by the Secretary of State.
“The serious climate change impact of the proposal, which is totally out of line with the Climate Change Committee’s guidance on how to reach net zero, means the development would have significant effects beyond its immediate location.
“Granting permission would commit the UK to greenhouse gas emissions that would contribute to a surge in emissions in the early 2030s; would make the 2050 target much more difficult and costly to achieve and would require reductions in airport capacity elsewhere in the UK. The proposal causes significant effects beyond just LBA and the city of Leeds. It raises the type of issues where consideration at national level, by the Secretary of State, is required.”
GALBA chair Chris Foren added:
“Robert Jenrick has the power to intervene. But will he? One of the key reasons that Leeds councillors felt able to support airport expansion is because their planning officers told them that international aviation emissions are not a matter for local authorities to consider in the planning process. GALBA believes that is legally incorrect and reserves the option of challenging LCC in the courts.
“However for now, that’s what people have been told, so we are asking national government to take responsibility where local government has failed. The Secretary of State has the power to intervene and he should now exercise that power.”