Letter from nearly 80 organisations and groups urges Leeds Bradford Airport decision be ‘called in’
Nearly 80 West Yorkshire community groups, environmental organisations and councillors from all parties have urged the decision on Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) to be ‘called in’. Signatories of the letter to Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, include Bradford councillors, Shipley Constituency Labour Party, Thornton, Allerton and Sandy Lane Branch Labour Party, Keighley and Ilkley Green Party, Bradford Green Party, Clean Air Bradford, Bradford Green New Deal, Baildon and Shipley Friends of the Earth, Extinction Rebellion Bradford, Shipley Town Council and more. The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) has asked the Secretary of State to hold a public inquiry because they say “there are significant effects beyond LBA’s immediate locality and there is substantial cross-boundary and national controversy; these issues have not been adequately addressed by Leeds City Council; and airport expansion conflicts with national policies on important matters”. The UK needs a proper national policy on airports, airport expansion, and carbon emissions. The CCC has said there must be no net airport growth, but many airports plan to expand – none plan to contract.
Letter urges Leeds Bradford Airport decision be ‘called in’
24th March 2021
By Felicity Macnamara @FelicityM_TandA (Telegraph & Argus)
NEARLY 80 West Yorkshire community groups, environmental organisations and councillors from all parties have urged the decision on Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) to be ‘called in’.
Signatories of the letter to Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, include Bradford councillors, Shipley Constituency Labour Party, Thornton, Allerton and Sandy Lane Branch Labour Party, Keighley and Ilkley Green Party, Bradford Green Party, Clean Air Bradford, Bradford Green New Deal, Baildon and Shipley Friends of the Earth, Extinction Rebellion Bradford, Shipley Town Council and more.
The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) has asked the Secretary of State to hold a public inquiry because they say “there are significant effects beyond LBA’s immediate locality and there is substantial cross-boundary and national controversy; these issues have not been adequately addressed by Leeds City Council; and airport expansion conflicts with national policies on important matters”.
Chris Foren, Chair of GALBA, said it is right to call in the decision on LBA.
“The extra pollution and noise from LBA expansion would hurt climate and our communities,” he said.
Earlier this month, Alex Sobel, who represents Leeds Northwest, where the airport is based, asked Whitehall to call in the decision made by Leeds City Councillors this month to approve the £150m new facility due to huge concerns about the effect of extra flights on the environment.
In response to the letter to the Secretary of State, an LBA spokesperson said: “Approval by Leeds City Council for LBA’s replacement terminal was made on the basis of detailed economic and environmental reports, with members recognising the value of the thousands of jobs that will be created and the substantial impact on our region’s economy, contributing significantly to the Government’s levelling up agenda and plans for improved connectivity.
“This application is not about expansion, but about achieving what we already have consent to do in a more sustainable way, building cleaner and greener infrastructure for the future and making use of regional runway capacity.”
The spokesperson added: “Development will make LBA an outstanding net zero airport with a much-improved passenger experience, connecting Yorkshire with other parts of the country and the world for business and tourism.”
A Leeds City Council spokesperson said the authority would not be making a comment at this time.
Alex Sobel MP tells government to stop Leeds Bradford Airport’s new £150m terminal
The MP for Leeds North West, Alex Sobel, has told the government it needs to dramatically intervene to stop the building of a new terminal at Leeds Bradford Airport. The airport is in his constituency. He has asked the Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick, to call in the decision made by Leeds City Councillors to approve plans for a new terminal. The expansion plans are intended to increase the number of flights and passengers, and therefore the amount of noise and carbon emissions. Mr Sobel has been a long-time critic of the airport’s plans. He has pointed out that the expansion plans are not in keeping with the advice of the Committee on Climate Change, to limit aviation expansion, in order to reach UK carbon targets. He said: “I do not believe that a local plans panel of 14 councillors is in any way a competent body to be making a decision of this significance. Applications which significantly affect the carbon budget must be made nationally. We need a national aviation plan and significant measures to reduce net emissions from UK flights. I look forward to seeing these in the Government’s response to the Committee on Climate Change’s Sixth Carbon Budget Report.”
GALBA’s Response to Leeds City Council Plans Panel’s Confirmation of LBA Expansion Approval
11.3.2021 (Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport)
Despite councillor after councillor expressing unhappiness at the conditions offered by LBA, it looks like threat of an appeal by the airport was the reason why Leeds City Council’s Plans Panel confirmed its approval of Leeds Bradford Airport’s planning application. We are disappointed but not surprised by that decision. GALBA remains committed to protecting the health of our climate and our communities by stopping airport expansion. We believe the decision should be considered at a public inquiry where the climate, noise, health and economic impacts can be properly and thoroughly investigated. Alternatively, we will challenge the Council’s decision in the courts. We have the resources and the determination to continue our campaign for as long as necessary.
Leeds Bradford Airport terminal recommended for final approval – but old building could remain standing
A new document has shown Leeds Bradford Airport may not be able to demolish its old terminal building if/when a replacement is built, as it contains much of the site’s crucial infrastructure. As part of a Leeds City Council’s recent in-principle acceptance of the rebuild last month, members wanted the ageing terminal building to be demolished as soon as possible once the new one was built. But a document set to go before the panel next week claims the airport cannot do this, as it currently contains the airport’s air traffic control tower, fire station, IT, communications, security, safety and mechanical infrastructure These are needed for the airport to maintain its aerodrome licence, but the airport says it has committed to creating a “masterplan” to get rid of the site in the longer term. The report, set to go before the Council’s plans panel on 11th March. It said: “The existing terminal will not be used by passengers which is restricted in the proposed (planning) agreement….[it] houses some of the Airports critical operations…” The airport’s management offices are also included in the terminal building, as well as Jet2’s staff offices.
Open letter from 246 University of Leeds academics, to Robert Jenrick, asking him to “call in” the Leeds Bradford decision
246 University of Leeds staff (including 46 professors and associate professors) ,and postgraduate researchers have signed an open letter, asking Robert Jenrick (Sec of State) to ‘call in’ the decision on Leeds Bradford Airport. The government should take responsibility for the decision, which is of national importance because of the increased carbon emissions and their impact on UK carbon commitments. The academics say expanding LBA’s passenger numbers by 75% exceeds the maximum rate of growth that the Climate Change Committee considers compatible with the UK’s legally adopted net-zero target. It 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. “In the year that the UK is hosting the COP26 conference, it is vital that we show leadership on climate change and take the necessary actions to secure a safe, zero-carbon future. We therefore urge you [Robert Jenrick] to call in this application so that the issues highlighted are considered in light of national and international climate targets and associated guidance.” The alleged economic benefits of the expansion, or jobs created, would be unlikely to materialise.
Committee on Climate Change – recommendations to government – lots on aviation carbon changes and policies needed
The Committee on Climate Change has published its guidance for the UK government on its Sixth Carbon Budget, for the period 2033 – 37, and how to reach net-zero by 2050. There is a great deal of detail, many documents, many recommendations – with plenty on aviation. The intention is for UK aviation to be net-zero by 2050, though the CCC note there are not yet proper aviation policies by the UK government to achieve this. International aviation must be included in the Sixth Carbon budget. If the overall aviation CO2 emissions can be reduced enough, it might be possible to have 25% more air passengers in 2050 than in 2018. The amount of low-carbon fuels for aviation has been increased from the CCC’s earlier maximum realistic estimates of 5-10%, up to perhaps 25% by 2050, with “just over two-thirds of this coming from biofuels and the remainder from carbon-neutral synthetic jet fuel …” Residual CO2 emissions will need to be removed from the air, and international carbon offsets are not permitted. There is an assumption of 1.4% efficiency improvement per year, or at the most 2.1%. There “should be no net expansion of UK airport capacity unless the sector is on track to sufficiently outperform its net emissions trajectory.” The role of non-CO2 is recognised, but not included in carbon budgets; its heating effect must not increase after 2050. And lots more …
See the CCC advice on Aviation for the Sixth Carbon Budget at