GALBA are raising money now, for the first stages of their challenge at the public inquiry

In January the government announced a public inquiry into the expansion plans of Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA). It will take place in September. The airport wants to increase passenger numbers by 75%. Despite thousands of objections, including all of Leeds’ Labour MPs, Leeds City Council approved LBA’s planning application on 11 February 2021. LBA is owned by an Australian private equity company and is not short of cash. GALBA will be David to the airport’s Goliath at the public inquiry, so the campaign has launched a crowdfunding appeal and is asking supporters to make donations as soon as possible.  The first stage is to submit an opening ‘statement of case’, setting out the key legal reasons why LBA should not be allowed to expand, which GALBA will present to the inquiry. So raising funds to meet the legal costs is an urgent priority for the next few weeks. The second challenge is to find expert witnesses who will present evidence to the inquiry about the consequences of expansion, including climate damage, socio-economic issues, planning law, noise and more. GALBA hopes that some experts will donate their time for free or at a reduced rate.
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Even if people can only donate £10 or £20, it all helps!

Leeds Bradford Airport expansion: what next?

The government has announced a public inquiry into the expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport. Campaigners are now fundraising to cover costs.

by Nick Hodgkinson  (GALBA)

In January, the government announced there will be a public inquiry into the expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) – but what does that mean for anti-expansion campaigners?

There have been many plot twists to this story since Leeds Bradford Airport’s announcement, in January 2020, of their plans to increase passenger numbers by 75%. Despite thousands of objections, including all of Leeds’ Labour MPs, Leeds City Council approved LBA’s planning application on 11 February 2021.

The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) immediately asked the government to ‘call in’ the decision and hold a public inquiry. Then everything went on hold until 19 January 2022, when Michael Gove, secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities, agreed to GALBA’s request. So what happens next?

Public inquiry will be costly: can you help?

The immediate priority for GALBA is fundraising. Even with some experts hopefully helping free of charge and a legal team working at reduced rates, GALBA still needs to raise £100,000. This will pay for advocacy from barristers and solicitors with planning and environmental law experience and for ‘witnesses’ – people with recognised expert knowledge in their fields – to give evidence to the inquiry.

LBA is owned by an Australian private equity company and is not short of cash. GALBA will be David to the airport’s Goliath at the public inquiry, so the campaign has launched a crowdfunding appeal and is asking supporters to make donations as soon as possible. Full details are given at the end of this article.

There are two more immediate tasks for GALBA. The first is to submit an opening ‘statement of case’, setting out the key legal reasons why LBA should not be allowed to expand, which GALBA will present to the inquiry. So raising funds to meet the legal costs is an urgent priority for the next few weeks.

The second challenge is to find expert witnesses who will present evidence to the inquiry about the consequences of expansion, including climate damage, socio-economic issues, planning law, noise and more. GALBA hopes that some experts will donate their time for free or at a reduced rate.

National network of campaigns to stop airport expansion

There have been other plot twists around the country as several airports plan to expand and local communities organise to stop them. GALBA is part of a national network of groups that support each other in the fight to force the aviation industry to take its share of responsibility for cutting all greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030.

When there are disappointing decisions – like here in Leeds or in Bristol – these campaign groups just roll up their sleeves, get expert legal advice and prepare for the next challenge. In the case of LBA’s expansion plan, the more funds that can be raised, the more GALBA can put forward the best legal and technical arguments to explain why it should not be allowed.

The public inquiry into LBA will begin on 13 September and last several weeks. It will be chaired by planning inspectors and take evidence from expert witnesses for both sides. The inspectors will make an in depth assessment of all the consequences of the airport’s expansion plans, taking into account everything that was put to Leeds City Council – climate, noise, air pollution, economics, etc – and all relevant issues that have occurred since the council’s decision. In the end, the inspectors will make a recommendation to the secretary of state whether or not to allow LBA to expand.

Donate to support the campaign
Donations to GALBA can be made by either:

Making an online bank transfer directly into GALBA’s bank account – GALBA. Sort code: 60-83-01. Acc No: 2042 3670
Or by clicking on this Just Giving link. You will be asked to add an amount to your donation for Just Giving’s admin costs.

https://yorkshirebylines.co.uk/region/leeds-bradford-airport-expansion-what-next/


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See earlier:

 

Leeds Bradford airport public inquiry to start 13th September – GALBA crowdfunding for £100,000 for the fight

On 19th January 2022, Michael Gove (Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) granted GALBA’s request to hold a public inquiry into Leeds Bradford airport’s  expansion plans.  It will start on 13th September 2022.  GALBA has gone into full-on preparation mode for fundraising. They hope to raise £100,000 through a crowdfunder, to pay for legal advice and experts to give evidence to the public inquiry.  The planning inspectors will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State whether or not to allow the airport to expand. GALBA has described the public inquiry into LBA’s expansion plans as a ‘real life David vs Goliath battle’.  Chris Foren, chair of GALBA, said: “The airport is owned by an Australian based multinational corporation which can literally spend millions on lawyers if it wants to. GALBA is just a group of concerned citizens – no one is paid, everyone involved does it because they care deeply about our communities and our climate. So it will be a real life David vs Goliath battle at the inquiry. … the future of our planet depends on struggles like this – people power really can make a difference! If we all work together, we can build a better future for our children and grandchildren.”

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Leeds Bradford Airport development plans at last to go to public inquiry – date unknown

Leeds Bradford airport Leeds Bradford submitted plans for new terminal building & more passengers (4m to 7m a year) in May 2020. There has been intense opposition to the plan, led by local opposition group, GALBA.  In March 2021 the terminal plan was approved by Leeds City Council, but in April 2021 the government issued a direction to the Council, preventing councillors from granting the planning permission without special authorisation. There have been numerous requests for the application to be called in. Now it has been announced by the DLUHC – headed by Michael Gove – that the application will indeed go to a public inquiry – though the date is not yet decided.  It is a triumph for the persistent pressure by opponents, managing to achieve this significant delay. The inquiry means the arguments against the expansion will be properly and fully heard.  Some of the matters that Mr Gove “particularly wishes to be informed about” included the extent to which the proposed development is consistent with government policies for “protecting green belt land” and “meeting the challenge of climate change, flooding and coastal change”. Airport expansion can only increase carbon emissions.

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