The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) has described the public inquiry into LBA’s expansion plans as a ‘real life David vs Goliath battle’. Today, they launched a crowdfunding appeal on their website. All donations will help pay for legal advice and experts to give evidence to the public inquiry later this year. GALBA says it needs to raise £100,000 as soon as possible.
On 19 January 2022, Michael Gove (secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) granted GALBA’s request to hold a public inquiry into LBA’s controversial expansion plans. The inquiry will be held in Leeds and will begin on 13 September. LBA, GALBA and others with an interest in the decision will present evidence to planning inspectors, who will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State whether or not to allow the airport to expand.
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. That’s why we’ve launched a crowdfunder on our website - galba.uk - to raise funds for our legal and other costs.”
He added: “We are absolutely determined and we know thousands of people support our campaign. We also know that 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.”
1) Photo: an image of GALBA’s crowdfunding appeal is attached.
2) Expert policy advice: Lord Deben, chair of the Climate Change Committee (CCC) said last year, “There is not any space for airport expansion” if the UK is to meet its climate goals. The CCC’s policy recommendation is for “no net expansion of UK airport capacity unless the sector is on track to sufficiently outperform its net emissions trajectory and can accommodate the additional demand”. That test has not been met and will not be met for many years to come.
3) Public Inquiry into LBA expansion: the decision to ‘call in’ LBA’s planning application and hold a public inquiry was announced by Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, on 19 January and will commence on 13 September.
4) Climate science and LBA expansion: the Leeds Climate Commission and experts in climate science from the University of Leeds have calculated that LBA’s proposals mean greenhouse gas emissions from the airport would 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.