Leeds Bradford Airport scraps plans for new £150m terminal building

Airport bosses blamed ‘excessive delays’ and calls for a public inquiry into the controversial development.

Katie Dickinson
Thursday 10 March 2022 13:54 GMT
Leeds Bradford Airport has scrapped plans for a new £150 million terminal building, blaming ‘excessive delays’ and calls for a public inquiry (PA)
Leeds Bradford Airport has scrapped plans for a new £150 million terminal building, blaming ‘excessive delays’ and calls for a public inquiry (PA) (PA Archive)

Leeds Bradford Airport has scrapped plans for a new £150 million terminal building, blaming “excessive delays” and calls for a public inquiry.

Airport bosses said they were “not prepared to commit a further uncapped sum over an indefinite timeframe into a public inquiry process when their focus needs to be on modernising the airport for the future”.

They said they would instead focus on developing the extension to the existing terminal, originally approved by Leeds City Council in 2019.

A general view of an aeroplane landing at Leeds Bradford Airport, West Yorkshire (Anna Gowthorpe/PA) (PA Archive)

The controversial plan for a new terminal was approved by councillors in Leeds last year, but the decision was delayed after being referred to the then Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove then made the decision to “call in” the latest proposals earlier this year, meaning a public inquiry would be held.

The airport had said its proposal would replace the existing terminal building with a more efficient and sustainable development, enabling it to reach its target of becoming carbon net-zero by 2023.

The proposed development starkly divided opinion between those who saw it as a crucial plank of economic development planning in the Leeds City Region and those who cast it as a test case for the Government’s environmental credentials in relation to air policy.

Vincent Hodder, chief executive officer of Leeds Bradford Airport, said: “It is with regret that we have made the decision to withdraw LBA’s application for the development of a new replacement terminal.

“As the travel and aviation industry continues to recover from the impacts of the pandemic, LBA needs to be able to respond to rapidly increasing demand within the next few years.

“Whilst this is a setback for our airport and region, we remain committed to investing in LBA to be an outstanding, decarbonised, modern airport for the future.”

This is a victory for our climate and our communities - we are delighted that LBA has acknowledged defeat

Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport

The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) welcomed the news, with chair Chris Foren saying, “This is a victory for our climate and our communities – we are delighted that LBA has acknowledged defeat.

“It means that LBA cannot extend daytime flying hours nor remove night time flying controls.

“As they said in their own planning application, this means they don’t have the capacity to increase passenger numbers above 5 million a year.”

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