Controversial £150 million plans for a new terminal extension at Leeds Bradford Airport have been delayed to give Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick further time to consider the proposal.
Councillors in Leeds approved the new terminal proposals last month, but Mr Jenrick said Article 31 Direction has been issued to allow time for “proper consideration” of opponents’ requests for the plan to be called in and for a public inquiry to be held.
The plans have divided opinion. Some argue the development is vital to the region’s economic prosperity,while others are concerned about the environmental impact of increased flying from the terminal.
Opponents the Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) say they were told by the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government that the decision has been delayed for an unspecified amount of time.
Chris Foren, chair of GALBA, said:
“Over the last few weeks we have seen environmental groups, community groups, MPs, scientists and literally thousands of people, writing directly to the Secretary of State asking for a public inquiry. Thousands more have signed our petition. We hope that the delay is a sign that Mr Jenrick is taking those requests very seriously.
“Leeds City Council has refused to accept responsibility to safeguard the health of our communities, our climate and future generations. As a consequence the ball is in Mr Jenrick’s court. We urge him to take that responsibility and order a public inquiry.”
Leeds Bradford Airport says the development will support 12,650 permanent jobs across the Leeds City Region, as well as creating 850 construction-related jobs.
They argue the airport can already expand passenger numbers with its existing facilities, and that the replacement building will help it achieve its carbon net-zero goals.
A Leeds Bradford Airport spokesman said in a statement:
“We acknowledge the deadline extension and hope that the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government will uphold Leeds City Council’s approval for our replacement terminal, which will deliver thousands of new jobs and support the region’s economy.
“Our proposals will deliver the UK’s most efficient terminal building, enabling us to become a net-zero airport, building back better and enhancing connectivity within the UK and internationally.”