Leeds Bradford Airport’s plan for a replacement passenger terminal has been approved by Leeds City Council, despite concerns by local MPs and residents about the environmental impact of the £150m (US$209m) expansion project.
“We are delighted that our plans for a replacement terminal have been awarded planning approval by Leeds City Council, enabling us to become an outstanding net zero airport, delivering a much-improved passenger experience and creating thousands of jobs, helping to support our region’s recovery,” said Vincent Hodder, CEO of Leeds Bradford Airport. “We would like to thank those that have supported our application through the statutory process, and we will be consulting with stakeholders over the coming months on the appropriate next steps.”
Hodder’s comments came as Alex Sobel – the member of parliament who represents Leeds North West, where the airport is based – asked the UK government to intervene and overturn the local council’s decision to approve the project.
Sobel told Leeds Live, “I have requested that the split decision of the cross-party plans panel to grant the new terminal and extend flight times at Leeds Bradford Airport be called in by the government. This application was predicated on an expansion of flights equating to three million more passengers annually, which is not in keeping with the sixth and subsequent UK carbon budgets, which call for no net increase in aviation emissions. Nor is it in keeping with the recent Heathrow judgment in the Supreme Court.”
He continued, “I do not believe that a local plans panel of 14 councillors is in any way a competent body to be making a decision of this significance. Applications that significantly affect the carbon budget must be made nationally.
“We need a national aviation plan and significant measures to reduce net emissions from UK flights. I look forward to seeing these in the government’s response to the Committee on Climate Change’s Sixth Carbon Budget Report.”
According to the airport, the plans for the new terminal, first announced in January 2020, replace a previously consented scheme and LBA’s existing terminal building with a more efficient and sustainable development, enabling the airport to reach its target of becoming carbon net zero by 2023 for airport operations.
The plans propose the construction of a three-floor, 34,000m2 replacement terminal on an alternative site within the airport’s boundary. Prior to the submission, LBA engaged in an extensive consultative process, with thousands of residents and organizations across Yorkshire providing feedback on the proposed plans.