Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves has objected to plans for a £150 million new terminal at Leeds Bradford Airport, saying the proposals ‘would significantly increase air and noise pollution’.
The proposals, which were submitted last month, include the construction of a three-floor, 34,000 square metre replacement terminal on an alternative site within the airport’s boundary.
Airport bosses say the new terminal will deliver a ‘dramatically improved’ passenger experience, deliver one of the UK’s most environmentally efficient airport buildings, and support the region’s economic prosperity.
But Ms Reeves becomes the fifth Leeds MP to voice her objections to the plans, following Alex Sobel (Leeds North West), Fabian Hamilton (Leeds North East), Hilary Benn (Leeds Central) and Richard Burgon (Leeds East). She said:
“A number of my constituents in Leeds West have contacted me about the possible expansion and I have listened to their concerns, particularly about the environmental impact of the scheme.
“I believe the proposed new terminal would significantly increase air and noise pollution in the area around the airport and undermine vital efforts to ensure that Leeds upholds its commitment to become a carbon neutral city by 2030.
“There is also the risk that a potential increase in passengers from four million to seven million a year would exacerbate existing issues with traffic congestion and vehicle emissions.
“With the ongoing climate emergency, we need to invest in alternative carbon-friendly modes of transport which cause less damage to our environment. Nationally, the Government needs to be doing far more to combat the climate emergency.”
A copy of Ms Reeves’ objection letter to Leeds City Council, which will decide the application, can be found here:
Airport bosses say the plans offer a more efficient and sustainable development, enabling the airport to reach its target of becoming carbon net zero by 2023 for airport operations.
LBA estimates that the development will support 12,650 permanent jobs across the Leeds City Region, as well as creating 850 construction jobs over the period of the build.
Hywel Rees, Chief Executive of Leeds Bradford Airport, said when the plans were launched last month:
“The new terminal design allows delivery of existing consented capacity in a more efficient way, with a smaller environmental footprint. The replacement building will have a modern, flexible design whilst achieving operational excellence to give passengers the best experience and address the challenges we know our passengers face far too frequently that cannot be overcome within our current building.
“We are committed to the future of LBA and bringing our plans to fruition if approved. This significant investment in the airport will protect and create new jobs, boost international connectivity, and comes at a time when the region and sector need to turbocharge the economic recovery.”
Earlier this week, 90 Leeds academics signed a letter objecting to the proposals on a variety of grounds.
Thousands of comments, both objecting and supporting the development have already been submitted to Leeds City Council.
Earlier this week the council announced that public consultation surrounding the plans has been extended by three weeks to 7 July.