79 West Yorkshire community groups, environmental organisations and councillors from all parties have written to Robert Jenrick (Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government) asking him to ‘call in’ the decision on Leeds Bradford Airport expansion and hold a public inquiry. Leeds City Council has already referred the decision to government to consider the impact on the greenbelt.
GALBA has also asked the Secretary of State to hold a public inquiry because: 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.
Last week, Robert Jenrick agreed to hold a public inquiry on the proposed new coal mine in Cumbria. He did this because a new coal mine contradicts advice given by the Committee on Climate Change in the 6th Carbon Budget and it would have implications that go beyond the immediate area in Cumbria.
Chris Foren, Chair of GALBA, said: “Leeds Bradford Airport expansion is the aviation equivalent of the Cumbria coal mine - and it’s equally significant for the future. There are striking similarities: both are local authority decisions - made in the same year that the UK hosts the international COP26 climate conference - which would result in significantly increased greenhouse gas emissions and which flatly contradict the latest advice to government from the Committee on Climate Change.”
He added: “It’s right to hold a public inquiry on the coal mine. For the same reasons, it’s also right to call in the decision on LBA. The extra pollution and noise from LBA expansion would hurt climate and our communities.”
Among the 79 names on the letter to Robert Jenrick are Leeds TUC, West Yorkshire CPRE, Horsforth Town Council, Shipley Town Council, church groups, Friends of the Earth groups and many other environmental organisations; councillors from Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green parties; and 19 Leeds community and residents associations.
1) Letter: a copy is attached and GALBA’s letter to Robert Jenrick requesting a public inquiry can be found here.
2) Photos: a high resolution photo of a giant projection onto Leeds Civic Hall of the words ‘Stop Leeds Bradford Airport expansion’ are attached. The photo is owned by GALBA and we freely give them for publication but please credit the photographer, Neil Terry.
3) Climate science and LBA expansion: the Leeds Climate Commission and experts in climate science from Leeds University have calculated that LBA’s proposals mean greenhouse gas emissions from the airport would double in the next 10 years and exceed the amount allowed for the whole of Leeds, as set out in the Leeds Carbon Reduction Roadmap, from 2026 onwards. See the report here.
4) Leeds City Council decision and referral to Secretary of State: the Leeds City Plans Panel approved LBA’s planning application on 11 March. LCC is required to refer the decision to Secretary of State Robert Jenrick because the new terminal building will be on greenbelt land. The reasons given by GALBA for holding a public inquiry will be considered by the Secretary of State at the same time as the greenbelt matter.