The expansion of Leeds Bradford airport has been put on hold after the federal government paused plans to construct a brand new terminal constructing on the inexperienced belt.
The plans got conditional approval by Leeds city council in February regardless of widespread opposition from native MPs, residents and environmental teams.
Campaigners argued the expansion would make a mockery of efforts to deal with the local weather disaster and undermine the federal government’s credibility forward of a key local weather convention later this 12 months.
On Tuesday the federal government issued a course to Leeds metropolis council stopping councillors from granting planning permission with out particular authorisation.
The course – set out in section 31 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 – will give additional time to Robert Jenrick, the communities secretary, to contemplate whether or not to formally “call in” the planning software.
As secretary of state, he has powers to take the decision-making energy on a planning software out of the palms of the native planning authority by calling it in for his personal dedication.
If a planning software is known as in, there can be a public inquiry chaired by a planning inspector, or lawyer, who would make a suggestion to the secretary of state. Jenrick can reject these suggestions if he needs and would take the ultimate resolution.
Jenrick recently used the powers to intervene in plans to construct a brand new coalmine off the Cumbrian coast.
The similar legal professionals who took on the federal government over the mine wrote to Jenrick asking him to do the identical with the Leeds Bradford airport
“[The] expansion would commit the UK to decades of increased carbon emissions, against the Climate Change Committee’s advice,” barrister Estelle Dehon argued earlier this 12 months, performing on behalf of the Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (Galba). “As with the proposed Cumbrian coalmine, allowing this in the year we host Cop26 undermines the UK’s ambition to lead on the climate crisis.”
In a press release, Galba stated: “Over the last few weeks we have had environmental groups, community groups, MPs, scientists and literally thousands of local people, writing directly to [Jenrick] asking for a public inquiry, and many more thousands have signed a petition. We hope that the delay is a sign that [he] is taking those requests very seriously. Leeds city council has refused to accept the responsibility to safeguard the health of the planet and future generations and a consequence the ball is in [Jenrick’s] court. He must take that responsibility and order a public inquiry.”
Supporters of the undertaking say the airport expansion would enhance the native financial system by lots of of tens of millions of kilos and help 1000’s of new jobs.
They argue the contested proposal shouldn’t be about expansion however delivering a cleaner, greener terminal constructing to help a hoped-for improve in passengers from 4 million to 7 million folks a 12 months by 2030.
A spokesperson for Leeds Bradford airport, stated: “We acknowledge the deadline extension and hope that the secretary of state for housing, communities and local government will uphold Leeds city council’s approval for our replacement terminal, which will deliver thousands of new jobs and support the region’s economy. Our proposals will deliver the UK’s most efficient terminal building, enabling us to become a net zero airport, building back better and enhancing connectivity within the UK and internationally.”
A spokesperson for Leeds metropolis council stated: “We have been knowledgeable right now by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government that the secretary of state will take some further time to contemplate the Leeds Bradford airport planning software.
“The application is a complex one and has generated a significant amount of interest at both a local and national level. We await the secretary of state’s decision in due course.”