11 February 2021
The Green Party candidate for Mayor of West Yorkshire has criticised Leeds City Council’s decision to approve Leeds Bradford Airport’s expansion plans , warning it does not make sense in a climate emergency.
Despite a significant amount of opposition from across West Yorkshire due to negative environmental damage airport expansion would cause, planning officers had recommended approving the controversial application.
Councillor Andrew Cooper, Green Party Candidate for West Yorkshire Mayor and a Kirklees Councillor, has now criticised the decision by councillors to approve the expansion plans subject to renegotiation.
Coun Cooper said:
“This is incredibly disappointing news and takes us backwards in our response to the climate crisis.
“This ruling today just makes a mockery of how our councils here in West Yorkshire are responding to their climate commitments. There is simply no room for airport expansion in a climate emergency. It just does not make sense when the UK as a whole has to reduce its carbon emissions as quickly as possible.
“While France has taken a principled position and given a lead on climate change today by scrapping plans to expand Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, Leeds City Council has been derelict in its duty in addressing the climate emergency.
“This has been a real ‘David and Goliath’ story as, on the one side is a large global pension fund who own the airport, and on the other is a crowd-funded campaign and lots of hard work by ordinary but committed people, including many Green Party members.
“Leeds City Council has sent a clear message that commercial interests are more important than the views of local people, the protection of our environment and the wellbeing of future generations.”
Bradford Council in particular came under fire after it told Leeds City Council that it has ‘no objection’ to the airport’s planning application. Campaigners have accused the Labour-run authority of ignoring its own Climate Emergency declaration.