Tracy Brabin 'very disappointed' at cancellation of £150m Leeds Bradford Airport terminal

West Yorkshire mayor Tracy Brabin is "very disappointed" that plans for a new £150m terminal building at Leeds Bradford Airport have been scrapped.

Speaking at an Institute for Government event at The Tetley art gallery in Leeds on Tuesday afternoon, Ms Brabin said she had hoped the new facility could have played a central role in making West Yorkshire "a magnet for international investment".

Last week, airport bosses said they were withdrawing a planning application for a £150m replacement terminal building - blaming "excessive delays and the decision to call in plans by the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities".Leeds City Council granted planning permission for a new £150m terminal in February 2021, despite almost 2,000 objections, but Housing Secretary Michael Gove ‘called in’ the decision 11 months later.

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The owners of Leeds Bradford Airport said they had wanted to replace the existing terminal, which was built in the 1960s, with a modern facility that is more energy efficient by 2023.

Tracy Brabin was speaking at an Institute for Government event at The Tetley in Leeds. Picture: Simon HulmeTracy Brabin was speaking at an Institute for Government event at The Tetley in Leeds. Picture: Simon Hulme
Tracy Brabin was speaking at an Institute for Government event at The Tetley in Leeds. Picture: Simon Hulme

But objectors had claimed the development will lead to an increase in passenger numbers and flights, which will generate more harmful emissions.

The airport owners have now said they will revert to plans to upgrade and extend the existing terminal, which were approved in January 2019.

Ms Brabin told the IfG event that she was disappointed the proposals had not come to fruition and did not feel they clashed with the region's ambitions to reach net zero by 2038.

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She said: "I was very disappointed in the outcome for Leeds Bradford and the owners felt it was too protracted and they couldn't wait any longer for planning permission or for the decision to be made about whether they could go ahead with their zero-carbon terminal.

"I know that we as a region are committed to zero carbon by 2038 but that doesn't mean we can't support companies and businesses who want to rebuild their building to make it zero carbon."

I am disappointed because I do believe West Yorkshire can be a magnet for international investment. I want the international students who come to our amazing universities to be able to use an airport that is local rather than have to go to Manchester and then get in a car or on public transport to get over here.

"I really believe as a mayor to say, 'We don't need an airport' would be slightly mad and pulling up the drawbridge.

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"I want an airport but want an airport that is efficient, modern and innovative and that has got great connectivity. At the moment you have got drive there - that's why we were working with them to build a new station."

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