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Press Release: GALBA Asks Stuart Andrew MP For a Simple Answer - Should There Be a Public Inquiry?

Campaigners against Leeds Bradford Airport expansion ask Stuart Andrew MP for a straightforward answer: should there be a public inquiry?

The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) has written to Pudsey MP, Stuart Andrew, asking if he believes a public inquiry should be held to examine Leeds Bradford Airport’s controversial expansion plans. In a recent BBC television interview, the MP said that it would have been better if LBA had made two, separate planning applications: one for the terminal building and one for changes to the flight regime.

Chris Foren, Chair of GALBA, said: “Many people may agree with Mr Andrew but that did not happen. LBA’s planning application has to be dealt with as it actually is. So we are keen to understand whether Mr Andrew now believes it should be decided at a public inquiry. And if he does, whether he will write to Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick urging him to 'call in' the decision. These are straightforward questions that deserve a straightforward answer.”

He continued: “Supporting the call for a public inquiry is the least he could do for his constituents, who will suffer a huge increase in noise if expansion is allowed. Expansion would also mean a massive increase in climate-damaging greenhouse gases from the 16,000 additional flights every year. That’s bad news for all of us! It’s also bad news for the government of which Mr Andrew is a member. The government has committed to cutting the UK’s emissions by 78% by 2035 and will include greenhouse gases from flying in our emissions reduction target.”

Chris added: “Five local MPs have already given their support for a public inquiry: Philip Davies (Conservative), Hilary Benn (Labour), Alex Sobel (Labour), Fabian Hamilton (Labour) and Richard Burgon (Labour). It’s time for Stuart Andrew to add his voice to theirs.”

Last week, three West Yorkshire teenagers hand-delivered a petition, signed by over 55,000 people, to the Communities Secretary on behalf of GALBA. The petition calls for a public inquiry. GALBA has also joined a network of 16 national and local airport campaigns calling on the government to impose an immediate moratorium on all proposed UK airport expansions.

Additional notes:

1) GALBA’s letter to Stuart Andrew: a copy is attached.

SA letter 26 May
Download DOCX • 55KB

2) GALBA’s petition: you can view it here.

3) UK-wide airport expansion moratorium call: further details are available here.

4) UK emissions-reduction target to include aviation: the government’s announcement is available here.

5) Climate science and Leeds Bradford Airport 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. The Climate Commission report is available here.

6) LBA public inquiry decision postponed: on 6 April, Secretary of State Robert Jenrick postponed his decision on whether to call in LBA’s application for a public inquiry. This means that no changes can be made to flying hours at LBA until a final decision is made.

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