Leeds Bradford Airport expansion plan to be reviewed by government

The planned expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport had been approved by Leeds City Council. Credit: Leeds Bradford Airport

The government has called in plans to expand Leeds Bradford Airport following a ruling by the communities secretary Michael Gove.

Planning permission for the £150m upgrade was originally granted by Leeds City Council last year, despite opposition from environmental campaigners.

But the government has overruled that decision and a public inquiry will be held before a final judgement is made.

The move has been criticised by airport bosses, who say that the new terminal building would be highly sustainable and boost the local economy.

'Decision could be lost opportunity'

Chief executive Vincent Hodder said: "While we are disappointed to see this decision taken after 10 months of deliberation, we remain convinced in the economic, environmental and customer service cases for our replacement terminal.

"Our proposals are robust and we are committed to being an outstanding airport for passengers.

"We hope this decision does not signal a lost opportunity to level up the North of England.

"The plans not only comply with national and regional legislation but also present a faster way for us to meet our net-zero strategy and a welcome boost for the UK tourism industry to bounce back from the pandemic."

The airport says blocking the expansion would be damaging to Leeds' ambition to become a vibrant European city.

But environmental campaigners and climate academics say flights in and out of Leeds need to be dramatically reduced.

The Group for Action on the Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) has welcomed the decision and said that airport expansion is "obviously inconsistent" with tackling the climate crisis.

Chris Foren, chair of GALBA, said: "We’re very pleased with Mr Gove’s decision. It means that all of the consequences of LBA expansion will be properly considered by experienced planning experts."

What is the Leeds Bradford Airport expansion plan?

An artist's impression of the new terminal planned for Leeds Bradford Airport Credit: Artist's impression

Under the plans, existing buildings would be demolished to make way for the new 366,000 sq ft, three-storey terminal.

The airport claims the replacement building would be a more efficient and sustainable development.

It estimates that the project would support 12,650 permanent jobs across the Leeds region, as well as creating 850 construction-related jobs over the period of the build.