Poll shows more than half of West Yorkshire residents back new terminal for Leeds Bradford Airport

More than half of people living in West Yorkshire support plans to construct a new terminal building at Leeds Bradford Airport, new data shows.

Polling from Opinium showed that 51 per cent of adults in West Yorkshire backed the airport’s £150m terminal revamp, with just 17 per cent opposed.

The polling also showed that close to half of the region agreed that approval of the airport’s plan should be contingent on a limit placed on the number of flights it operates.

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The plans to demolish the current terminal building and build a new facility were approved by planners on Leeds City Council at the start of the year but have been referred to the Government after campaigners objected.

How the new terminal would appear.
How the new terminal would appear.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick confirmed three weeks ago that he was delaying his decision in order to take more time to consider it but his department has imposed an order which prevents Leeds City Council from granting it permission.

The polling, commissioned by business organisation the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, canvassed the views of close to a thousand residents.

It showed 31 per cent of respondents to “support very much” the plan and a further 20 per cent to “support slightly”. Support was higher among more wealthy income brackets. Meanwhile 47 per cent said they agreed with the idea of granting permission on the basis that there be a cap on any growth in flights in order to mitigate any environmental impact.

If approved the new terminal will span three floors and cover 34,000 sq m and be the greenest terminal in the UK.During the construction phase the existing terminal, constructed in 1968, will operate as normal and be demolished once the new facility is up-and-running.

Artists impression of the new terminal.

The airport currently supports 7,200 jobs and has the objective of growing its current passenger numbers from four million currently to seven million.

If this is successful then the jobs supported by the airport is expected to swell to 12,000, although LBA bosses believe that the current infrastructure will be insufficient to meet this ambition.

Henri Murison, director of the NPP, said communities and businesses across Yorkshire and the North have been disadvantaged by second-class aviation links for too long.

“The huge imbalance in the UK’s share of flights causes vast economic and environmental problems, with thousands of Northern travellers forced to drive down to Heathrow for business, for holidays or to visit family and friends abroad.

“This generates additional carbon emissions, while creating demand for a third runway. The airport already had the approvals it needed to grow the number of passengers and flights.

However, the new terminal will create and support over 12,000 new jobs at a key moment in our economic recovery. Cancelling the new development makes no sense from either an economic and environmental point of view, causing significant self-inflicted damage to West Yorkshire’s economy.”

The Yorkshire Post contacted campaign group Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) for comment but received no reply.