Council issues ‘call for evidence’ over airport night-time flying applications

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Leeds Bradford Airport. Picture from Google Maps

Leeds City Council has provided an update on the process it will follow while dealing with a number of recent applications from Leeds Bradford Airport relating to night-time flying.

The council received four new Certificate of Lawful Existing Use or Development (CLEUD) applications from the airport last month.

Applications, which have today been published in full on the council’s public access planning system, relate to whether certain aircraft movements are permitted at night from Leeds Bradford. They were submitted at the same time as a request from the airport for four previous CLEUD applications to be withdrawn.

The council can now confirm that, in line with national government legislation and guidance, it is undertaking a call for evidence from third parties in relation to two of the new applications.

This means that the council is seeking relevant factual evidence – such as flight data, flight times, flight frequency and size of aircraft – relating to the specific operations at Leeds Bradford outlined in the two applications.

It is important to note that a call for evidence is different to a ‘public consultation’, with general comments, objections and opinions not being invited as they cannot be taken into account during the determination process.

Coun Helen Hayden, Leeds council’s executive member for sustainable development and infrastructure, said: “The call for evidence means that third parties, including members of the public, have an opportunity to provide relevant evidence on these two applications.

“It must be stressed, however, that decisions on the applications cannot take into account evidence or comments which fall outside the determination process’s tightly-defined parameters. These parameters are not set by planning authorities such as the council, they are laid down in national law.”

Submissions must relate to the period covered by the airport’s evidence, which is January 1, 2008, through to December 23, 2019.

The call for evidence relates to the two applications (23/07489/CLE and 23/07490/CLE) for which the airport has submitted flight movement data.

In October, GALBA (Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport), accused the airport of breaking its night-time flight quota by nearly 500 flights. The airport has repeatedly denied such claims, insisting it was under the limit under its “interpretation” of the rules.

People who have relevant evidence relating to the two applications are asked to email the information – including any verifying details – to the council at planning@leeds.gov.uk no later than Friday, January 26.

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