Leeds Bradford Airport expansion decision soon – there have been almost 2,000 objections

A final decision is set to be made on the future of the Leeds Bradford airport at a meeting on 11th February, on the proposals for a new £150m terminal.The new terminal that would allow more annual flights and passengers, and thus higher carbon emissions. Over 1,950 objections to the plans have been submitted, and around 1,200 in favour of it, including (predictably) the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.  Environmental campaigners and climate academics had warned flights in and out of Leeds needed to dramatically reduce in order to help humanity have a fighting chance of averting climate catastrophe in the coming years. Council planning officers have now set out their recommendation in a report to the authority’s City Plans Panel that suggests they approve the blueprints, albeit with 50 conditions on the developers.  Several councils have opposed the plans, and Bradford West MP Naz Shah, Bradford East MP Imran Hussain and all 5 Leeds Labour MPs have also raised concerns.  Local campaign group The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) has been fighting the plans for several years.  Airports like to confuse the issue, with how low-energy their airport buildings will be, trying to pretend the flights are nothing to do with them. 

Leeds Bradford Airport expansion tipped for approval – despite almost 2,000 objections

4th February 2021

By Richard Beecham  – Local Democracy Reporter (Telegraph & Argus)

PLANS for a multi-million pound rebuild of Leeds Bradford Airport should be approved by Council decision-makers, a report by planning experts has recommended.

A final decision is set to be made on the future of the airport at a meeting next week, following more than a year of protests and controversy around the proposals for a new £150m terminal at the site in Yeadon.

The plans have divided opinion, with almost 2,000 people writing to Leeds Council urging them to reject the plans, and almost 1,300 writing in support of the expansion.

Environmental campaigners and climate academics had warned flights in and out of Leeds needed to dramatically reduce in order to help humanity have a fighting chance of averting climate catastrophe in the coming years.

Council planning officers have now set out their recommendation in a report to the authority’s City Plans Panel that suggests they approve the blueprints, albeit with 50 conditions on the developers.  Documents at https://democracy.leeds.gov.uk/documents/s215446/Planning%20Application%20No.2002559FU%20-%20Leeds%20Bradford%20Airport%20Whitehouse%20Lane%20Yeadon.pdf

Among the 1,953 objections are ones from Bingley Town Council, Shipley Town Council, Burley Parish Council, Menston Parish Council, and Yorkshire and Humber Green Party.

Public asked for their view on plans for new Leeds Bradford Airport parkway station

Bradford West MP Naz Shah, Bradford East MP Imran Hussain and all five Leeds Labour MPs have also raised concerns.

And campaign group The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) has pushed for the plans to be scrapped for a number of years.

Among the 1,281 who have written to Leeds Council voicing support for the plans are airline KLM and the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.

During a meeting in September 2019, Leeds University PHD researcher Jefim Vogel gave a presentation to the council’s Climate Emergency Committee, where he claimed air passenger numbers at the airport needed to reduce by three quarters before 2030 to fend off the threat to civilisation posed by climate change.

Since then, a number of protests have taken place, with campaigners famously staging a “die-in”, which disrupted a planning meeting in January 2020.

The council has also received nearly 2,000 objections to the plans themselves, although it has also received more than 1,200 in support.

The report from Leeds City Council officers said the climate impact of the new terminal itself would be lower than the current airport building, claiming the issue of carbon emissions from flights needed to be dealt with at a national level.

It added: “Any suppression of planned growth at LBA here (is) likely to lead to displacement as other airports simply taking up the demand along with the flight emissions (and without Leeds securing the economic benefits).

“Further, the carbon budget for LBA flights would still not be exceeded by the development. It has been demonstrated (without the flights), that the scheme will reduce the amount of carbon production that the existing situation which will help for Leeds to achieve its zero carbon by 2030.”

It added that “noise-mitigation” measures would include “the provision of appropriate additional insulation of properties at no cost to residents/householders.”

And, while the plans do meet the criteria for “inappropriate development” on the green belt, council officers argue this meets the test for “special circumstances, adding: “Officers have concluded that the significant economic benefits, and reduction in carbon emissions due to the new terminal and ground operations, as well as the benefits arising from improved passenger experience do clearly outweigh the harm to the Green Belt and the other harms that have been identified within the report.”

A final decision on the plans is expected to be made at a meeting of Leeds City Council’s City Plans Panel on Thursday, February 11.

Some of the conditions Leeds City Council plans to put in place for the airport, should it be approved:

Samples of materials used in the development to be submitted to the council.

Plans for nearby landscaping to be submitted to the council, as well as a commitment for no trees, hedges, bushes or trees to be removed that are not shown on the approved plans. It adds any that die within five years must be replaced at LBA’s cost.

Hours of construction to be 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm on a Saturday only.

Details of measures to treat odour and fumes from the fuel farm and refuelling activities to be submitted to the council.

A Biodiversity Environmental Management Plan including a landscaping management plan which includes monitoring for a minimum of 30 years to be submitted.

Separate drainage for foul and surface water.

Nearby road works to be completed by developer prior to opening.

A658 roundabout works to be completed prior to achieving six million passengers per year.

Forecourt works, electric vehicle charging hubs, parking, showers, and lockers to be completed before opening.

Several controls on night time movement and noise.

No routine engine testing between the hours of 11pm and 7am, as well as any time on a Sunday, good Friday and Christmas day.

LBA to pay 100% of the costs on the supply and installation of secondary windows or the same value as a grant towards replacement primary windows.



Another MP has come out against the Leeds Bradford Airport expansion – as decision date is set

By The Newsroom (Yorkshire Evening Post)
Wednesday, 3rd February 2021

Bradford East MP Imran Hussain set out his position in a newsletter to members of the local Labour party.

He said the creation of a new £150m eco-friendly airport terminal building would “have a devastating effect on our environment and climate obligations.”He added that recent job losses at the airport were “undermining their argument for expansion, and so I have been calling on Leeds City Council…to reject the planning application for this extension in order to protect our environment and to ensure that mass redundancies are not rewarded.”

The airport announced in October that 100 jobs were at risk, but only 36 people were eventually made

Airport bosses have submitted a planning application to the council and are aiming to replace the existing terminal building with a new one by 2023, so they can increase passenger numbers from four million a year to seven million a year.

Leeds City Council’s City Plans Panel will meet at 1.30pm on Thursday (February 11) to make a decision on the application.

The application states that the “dated” current terminal is “inefficient” and that LBA risks continuing to lose passengers to nearby Manchester Airport in an “unsustainable” way unless the improvements are approved.

In March 2019, Leeds City Council declared a climate emergency and gave a commitment to make Leeds ‘net zero’ for carbon emissions by 2030.

All five Leeds Labour MPs, as well as Bradford West MP Naz Shah, have said they oppose the airport’s plan.

Previous plans to revamp the airport’s capacity, approved by Leeds City Council in early 2019, had included blueprints to extend its existing terminal.

But the airport later updated it plans, moving the proposed new terminal to a different position within the airport’s boundary.

The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) have opposed the plans throughout.

Chris Foren, chair of GALBA, said: “We now know that a decision on LBA’s planning application will be made on 11 February.

“We hope that Leeds Labour councillors on the City Plans Panel realise that airport expansion cannot be allowed.

“Imran Hussain has joined Naz Shah and all five Leeds Labour MPs – Alex Sobel, Hilary Benn, Rachel Reeves, Richard Burgon and Fabian Hamilton – in publicly opposing LBA’s planning application.

“They all understand that we have the duty and the opportunity to protect our climate and that we urgently need to help people move out of high carbon industries into safe and sustainable jobs.”

Mr Foren added: “It would be plane crazy to allow the airport to double its greenhouse gas emissions in the middle of the climate emergency.

“Scientists all over the world are urging us to cut emissions as fast as we can. We have the power to tackle the climate crisis by making the right choices now.”




Leeds City Council’s City Plans Panel will meet at 1.30pm on Thursday 11th February to make a decision on the airport’s application. The meeting will be live streamed here democracy.leeds.gov.uk/ieListDocument


Public access to the agenda and the meeting will be available 5 working days before the Panel date via our website at www.leeds.gov.uk/planning/planning-permission/plans-panel-meetings.


See earlier:

Leeds Bradford Airport expansion could COST region £3.1bn over 26 years, claims think tank

The think-tank, the New Economics Foundation (NEF), has worked out that the proposed expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport could cost the region up to £3.1billion in lost economic activity by 2050. The plans would enable the airport to handle 7 million annual passengers, up from around 4 million in 2019. Most passengers will be on low cost leisure flights.  The claims by the airport ignore the huge loss to the UK because people who fly abroad on holiday do not spend that money in the UK.  The airport also claims (as all airports always do) that the expansion will create many new jobs. In fact, the aviation sector becomes increasingly automated, with fewer and fewer jobs per 1,000 passengers – and this has accelerated through the Covid-19 crisis.  NEF says: “The predicted business benefits are overstated, because businesses are making less and less use of air travel, especially in the fallout from coronavirus.”  Also that: “With the leisure and hospitality industries on their knees, this expansion would damage the local recovery from the Covid pandemic.”

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Extinction Rebellion to protest in Leeds against Leeds Bradford Airport expansion plans

Socially-distant protesters plan to gather in Millennium Square on August 29 in support of the Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA). GALBA will be cycling a route around Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield to highlight areas which may be affected by aircraft noise pollution if the airport’s expansion plans are approved.  Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) submitted plans to build a new “state of the art” £150million terminal in early 2020. It would  be closer to a proposed parkway rail station, announced by Leeds City Council last year.  The terminal would accommodate seven million passengers per year by 2030. Extinction Rebellion (XR) has held several protests this year against the expansion plans, both outside Leeds City Council’s Civic Hall headquarters and outside a public consultation meeting held at the Mercure Parkway Hotel.  XR says the proposed expansion, yet to be approved by the council, will increase carbon emissions – fuelling climate change. One activist said:  “I will be able to look my daughter in her eyes and tell her I tried to put an end to this madness, that we knew there was a better way to live and I fought for it with everything I had.”

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Young climate activists urge council to reject Leeds Bradford Airport development – “Don’t let us down”

‘DON’T let us down’ was the plea being made by young climate activists who are calling on Leeds City Council to reject plans for a new airport terminal.  Leeds Bradford Airport is seeking permission to create a new, £150 million building to replace its current terminal which dates back to the 1960s. Environmental campaigners say the terminal flies in the face of attempts to tackle global heating. Leeds YouthStrike4Climate (Leeds YS4C) have sent an open letter to the city council’s leaders which reminds them that they declared a Climate Emergency in March, 2019.  The expansion plans would make it ‘impossible’ for Leeds City Council to keep its promise to make the city carbon neutral by 2030. There will also be a lot more plane noise pollution. Leeds climate striker Annwen Thurlow said: “Our house is already on fire – we cannot let this expansion add more fuel. The council has a responsibility to protect our health and wellbeing, of people and planet.  Young people in Leeds and across the world are relying on them. “So we say to them – please don’t let us down.”

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Leeds Bradford Airport: Scientists object to expansion plans which will increase CO2 emissions

A group of five climate scientists have objected to Leeds Bradford airport’s expansion plans as they make it “impossible” for Leeds to meet its greenhouse gas emissions target.  The airport wants to build a new terminal, but this would mean more flights and more passengers, and so more carbon emissions. The scientists said the expanded airport’s greenhouse gas emissions would be higher than the emissions allowed for the whole of Leeds in 10 years’ time. The airport could cause the emission of 1,227 kilotonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2030, compared to 1,020 kilotonnes allowed for the whole of Leeds in 2030. One of those objecting is Prof Julia Steinberger, a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which advises the United Nations. The IPCC has warned that restricting global warming to 1.5˚C above pre-industrial levels will require “rapid and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”. The scientists say expansion would just represent “business as usual” and lock in higher CO2 emissions.  “If similar developments were replicated around the world, it would lock us into catastrophic climate change, which highlights that the proposed development is not only highly harmful but also unfair.”

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