WHEN I read that the planning application made by Leeds Bradford Airport, and approved by Leeds City Council for a new terminal building, had been called in Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, I was disappointed but not surprised.
Even as Leeds City Council’s announcement of planning permission approval was published in The Yorkshire Post, I could already hear the rumbles of protest from the usual suspects with regard to climate change and CO2 emissions.
With the majority of Leeds MPs throwing their weight behind it, I thought that the writing was on the wall for LBA’s new terminal when Jenrick was brought into the equation.
In my opinion, this is just another example of Leeds being touted as a leading player in the Northern Powerhouse as being nothing but hot air.
Before I am subjected to abuse and ridicule I am a Scot who has lived in Leeds since 1969, have served in the city police, am married to a Leeds lass and proud father to two Yorkshire boys, now men.
I currently live in Birstall half a mile from the Leeds boundary and consider myself to be a ‘loiner’.
Do the objectors really believe that opposing the new terminal will have the desired effect that they seek?
The new terminals, say the LBA management, will be carbon neutral. Who knows what developments there will be in aircraft engines and electric battery technology in the near future?
Do they want the the citizens of Leeds and its environs to continue to travel to Manchester, Birmingham or London for direct international flights, to see LBA become a second class airport scratching for new short haul and UK routes?
If Leeds is really serious about becoming a leading player in the Northern Powerhouse, then a new terminal, a new rapid transit system and new road infrastructure is paramount.
Of course Leeds can continue to construct even more student accommodation, open more pubs and restaurants, but is that really a path to Northern Powerhouse leadership? I think not.
I can only hope that Robert Jenrick will not call the application in, but his track record is not too great in backing local authorities on contentious issues.
I can forsee him opting for a public inquiry, kicking the can further down the road.
Manchester will be loving it.