Wakefield Council deputy leader Jack Hemingway says Leeds Bradford Airport expansion is 'a disaster'

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The deputy leader of Wakefield Council has branded the expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport "a disaster".

Labour councillor Jack Hemingway said the move would undermine efforts to make West Yorkshire carbon neutral.

Plans to install a new £150m terminal at the airport were given planning permission by Leeds City Council earlier this month.

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Supporters of the scheme say it will boost the region's economy but objectors, which included Wakefield's Labour group, claim it will help facilitate climate change.

Designs of how the plans may look.Designs of how the plans may look.
Designs of how the plans may look.

Asked about the decision on a Facebook Q&A session on Tuesday, Coun Hemingway said: "Although it's not within our district, it's still a very important planning application and we felt as a Labour administration we had to take a stand on it.

"Being frank, the expansion is a total disaster.

"You've got four million passengers a year using it at the moment. That's likely to go up to seven million.

"The carbon emissions produced from that will be very significant and will undermine regional efforts to achieve net zero by 2038.

Coun Hemingway said the move would increase carbon emissions.Coun Hemingway said the move would increase carbon emissions.
Coun Hemingway said the move would increase carbon emissions.

"It's very disappointing."

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A crowdfunding appeal has been launched by a campaign group to mount a legal challenge to the decision, which was made on February 11.

Should that fail, the expansion still has to be given government approval after the fine details are ironed out.

Coun Hemingway said the fight against the scheme was "not over".

"We respect the decision but our position remains unchanged," he added.

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"We're very happy to meet groups who may be interested in discussing that point of view with us and certainly we hope the challenge goes well.

"In fairness to Leeds City Council though, there is a dilemma for local authorities everywhere.

"We've got big infrastructure projects going through across the country and we don't have a national framework that considers emissions alongside planning decisions.

"I think there's a real issue for the country there."

Local Democracy Reporting Service

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