Gove orders public inquiry into Leeds Bradford expansion

Barry White

Local campaigners have welcomed  government action to hold a public inquiry into the decision to allow the building of a new £150m terminal building at Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA). The airport’s planning application was approved by Leeds City Council last March despite objections by campaigners and local MPs. Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick postponed making a decision on calls for a public inquiry, but his successor Michael Gove has now “called in” the plans.

The decision was welcomed by the Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA).Chris Foren, chair of GALBA, said: “It means all the consequences of LBA expansion will be properly considered by experienced planning experts.”

He highlighted the fact that the inquiry would scrutinise how consistent the proposed redevelopment was with government policy over climate change.

“Airport expansion is obviously inconsistent with tackling the climate crisis,” he said.

Further details will be announced.


GALBA statement issued 19 January.

“Today, we received a letter from Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, confirming his decision to ‘call in’ LBA’s planning application. This means that no expansion can start at LBA because there will be an inquiry to consider all of the consequences of expansion.

The inquiry will make a recommendation to Michael Gove whether to allow expansion or not. So while the ‘call in’ decision doesn’t mean LBA’s planning application has been rejected, it’s still very good news because the application will be properly considered by experienced planning experts and we will give evidence. No date has been set for the inquiry.

Among other things, the inquiry will look at ‘the extent to which the proposed development is consistent with Government policies for meeting the challenge of climate change’. We say that airport expansion is obviously inconsistent with tackling the climate crisis. Scientists have repeatedly warned that we must cut all our greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 to prevent a climate catastrophe. If LBA expands, its emissions would double.

Everyone knows cutting greenhouse gases is the most important challenge facing humanity and the people of West Yorkshire have shown true climate leadership. We can choose to rebuild our economy in a sustainable way and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

Thanks to your support and the thousands of other people who have donated to GALBA’s campaign, we will be able to use experts in planning law, climate science and economics to explain to the inquiry why LBA expansion cannot be allowed. As well as the climate damage expansion would cause, we will present evidence to show that it would also damage the health of our communities from the additional noise and air pollution.

We’ll keep you updated.”

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