Leeds Bradford Airport has announced it is withdrawing its planning application for a replacement terminal building following excessive delays and the decision to call in plans by the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
With large investment in the scheme so far, airport bosses say they are 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.
The airport will instead turn its attention to developing the extension to the existing terminal, originally approved by Leeds City Council in 2019, to enable it to meet the rapidly increasing passenger demand as the aviation sector recovers from the pandemic.
The replacement terminal plans, which would have delivered a purpose designed, BREEAM excellent rated terminal building, were about meeting demand already approved under the 2019 consent in a more sustainable way, allowing the airport to achieve its environmental targets more quickly within an ambitious new development.
LBA remains committed to delivering its 2030 Carbon Net Zero Roadmap and to creating a modern, decarbonised regional UK airport within the extension scheme.
Vincent Hodder, CEO 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.
I would like to thank everyone who has supported us in the planning process, from the general public to the business community and councils across Yorkshire. 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.
My team and I are optimistic about the recovery from the pandemic and about the future of Leeds Bradford Airport.
The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) has responded to the news that LBA has withdrawn its controversial expansion plans.
Chris Foren, chair of GALBA, said:
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.”
Make no mistake, this victory is down to the thousands of people who took action, donated funds and never gave up hope that we CAN make the right decisions today to build a better tomorrow. GALBA would like to say a massive ‘thank you’ to everyone who has backed our campaign.
We will keep a close eye on what the airport’s Australian owners do next. We will act again if they try to break any rules. We remain ready to continue the fight to protect our climate and communities. But for today, we’re celebrating success!