Plans to expand Leeds Bradford approved amidst environmental dismay

Leeds City Council has given the thumbs up to an ambitious expansion plan for Leeds Bradford airport after a four and a half hour meeting last month. The plans had originally been turned down in April on the grounds that better transport links had to be established but, having listened to a report from the planners, the council was satisfied that a lot of work had been done to address environmental concerns and the scheme was approved.

It is estimated that the expansion will cost £28 million and will involve a doubling in size of the airport and create up to 2,000 new jobs. Under the plans the security zone will be extended, the immigration and retail areas improved, and a new departure lounge constructed.

The regional airport currently sees some 3,000 passengers per year but it is estimated that as a result of the improvements this will increase to 5,000 by 2013.

The Chief Executive of the airport, John Parkin, said he was delighted by the approval and that it was “really good news for the people of this region”. Residents in West Yorkshire will be pleased to know that by 2013 they will be less likely to have to travel to Manchester airport to take a long haul flight.

Not everyone, however, is pleased and concerns have been voiced by environmental campaigners who held a demonstration outside the Civic Hall, whilst the Council debated the issue. A spokesman said that he was very disappointed with the decision and that the expansion would lead to traffic congestion, noise for local residents and higher carbon emissions in the future.

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