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Greens react to Leeds Bradford Airport approval

The Green Party candidate for Mayor of West Yorkshire has criticised the decision to approve Leeds Bradford Airport’s expansion plans, warning it does not make sense in a climate emergency.

Andrew Cooper talking at a conferenceThis was one of Yorkshire’s most controversial planning applications in decades due to the negative environmental damage airport expansion would cause.

Planning officers had recommended approving the application despite a significant amount of opposition from across West Yorkshire.

Nine Leeds councillors voted to approve the plans and five including Green councillor, David Blackburn (Farnley & Wortley Ward), voted against.

Councillor Andrew Cooper, Green Party Candidate for Mayor of West Yorkshire Mayor and a Kirklees Councillor, 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.

“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 Council have 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.