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Expanding airports is incompatible with meeting our climate targets – Green councillors respond to Leeds-Bradford expansion plans

Bradford Green councillors called for expansion at Leeds Bradford to be ditched in light of the expected reduced demand in aviation after the Coronavirus crisis.

The owners of Leeds-Bradford Airport have submitted plans to Leeds City Council seeking to replace the terminal building by 2023, to help facilitate increase passenger numbers from four million a year to seven million a year.

But Green councillors are joining other environmental campaign groups to call for these plans to be rejected.

Councillor Martin Love, leader of the Green Party on Bradford Council has said:

“Expanding airports is incompatible with meeting our climate targets. Both Leeds and Bradford Councils have declared a climate emergency which means they accept that radical action is needed if we are to avoid a climate catastrophe.

“The Coronavirus crisis has changed things. Even aviation industry experts are saying that demand for air travel will remain low for several years because people won’t want to be in enclosed spaces.

Chris Foren, chair of the Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) has said: "Expansion would bring more noise for local communities, increased air pollution, more traffic congestion and pump much more CO2 into the atmosphere - making the climate emergency worse.

"We need to rebuild a healthy economy in Leeds. We don’t need an unsustainable development like this.”

Earlier this year, plans to expand Bristol Airport were rejected by North Somerset Council following protests that it would exacerbate the climate emergency and damage the health of local people.

As with many planning applications, there is only a period of three weeks for the public to make objections.

Mr Foren added: “It’s ridiculous to expect local people to read, understand and respond to such a lot of technical detail in just 21 days. This decision is extremely important for the future of the region - that timescale is completely unfair and unrealistic.”