Leeds Bradford Airport expansion protestors deciding what to do with £30k of donations after victory

The group which campaigned against plans for a new terminal at Leeds Bradford Airport will decide whether to refund more than £30,000 of donations this week.

Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) raised the money to pay for legal representation at a planning inquiry in September, when a planning inspectorate was due to decide whether the controversial plans should be approved.

However, the airport announced last week that the proposals have been scrapped because the Government’s decision to order a planning inquiry had resulted in “excessive delays”.

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GALBA asked people to stop making donations shortly after the announcement and it will decide whether to refund the £32,842 it raised after a meeting on Tuesday.

Campaigners from Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) protesting outside the airportCampaigners from Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) protesting outside the airport
Campaigners from Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) protesting outside the airport

“For now, we would encourage people not to make further donations to our fighting fund until further notice,” the group wrote on its JustGiving page.

“GALBA says a massive ‘thank you’ to everyone who has backed our campaign. We will keep a close eye on the airport’s owners and we remain ready to act again if necessary.

“But for today, we’re celebrating success.

“We will post a further update here very soon.”

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 wanted to replace the existing terminal, which was built in the 1960s, with a modern facility that is more energy efficient by 2023.

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

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

In a statement, the airport said the call in had resulted in “excessive delays” and the owners “are not prepared to commit a further uncapped sum over an indefinite timeframe into a public inquiry process”.

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A council report, published in February last year, stated that decision allows the airport to expand passenger numbers to five million per year by 2023.

The airport had been aiming to increase passenger numbers from four million a year to seven million a year by 2030.