CAMPAIGNERS against expansion at Leeds Bradford Airport are urging government intervention over a council decision on a new terminal scheme.

The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport has written to Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, asking him to ‘call in’ the decision on LBA. If he agrees, the airport’s planning application will be dealt with at a public inquiry.

GALBA claims the LBA expansion is the aviation equivalent of the Cumbria coal mine case. But LBA says its new terminal scheme would enable it to become a net zero airport, and would create thousands of jobs.

Chris Foren, chair of GALBA, said: “To say the least, this decision is embarrassing for the UK's reputation as a global leader on tackling the climate crisis. It is also deeply embarrassing for a local authority that says it’s committed to reduce the city’s emissions to net zero by 2030."

He added: “Robert Jenrick has the power to intervene. But will he? One of the key reasons that Leeds councillors felt able to support airport expansion is because their planning officers told them that international aviation emissions are not a matter for local authorities to consider in the planning process. GALBA believes that is legally incorrect and reserves the option of challenging LCC in the courts."

Estelle Dehon, of Cornerstone Barristers, who is acting for GALBA, said: “Like the Cumbria coal mine decision, there are cogent reasons to say that the conditional approval of Leeds Bradford Airport expansion should be called in by the Secretary of State. The serious climate change impact of the proposal, which is totally out of line with the Climate Change Committee’s guidance on how to reach net zero, means the development would have significant effects beyond its immediate location."

After Leeds City Plans panel approved the £150 million scheme in principle a council spokesman said: “There were a large number of matters for plans panel members to consider during this process, including the council’s declaration of a climate emergency and the issue of increasing carbon emissions from flights.

“Current Government policy points to these emissions being something that should be primarily tackled at a national level – and addressed through international agreements and protocols – rather than by suppressing growth at individual airports in a way that could simply export passengers to other nearby airports at a higher financial cost to them and increase surface transport emissions.”

After the decision LBA chairman Andy Clarke, said: “If fully approved, our scheme would enable us to become a net zero airport, delivering a much-improved passenger experience and creating thousands of jobs, helping to support our region’s recovery."