Land release plan to aid Leeds Bradford Airport gets green light amid protest

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Proposals to aid the expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport have been given the backing of Leeds City Council leaders despite opposition from local campaigners.

Around a dozen protestors and north Leeds residents from the Global Anti-Aerotropolis Movement voiced their concerns over the council’s plans to release 36.2 hectares of land in and around the airport’s Yeadon site to support its growth.

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Placards stating ‘Save Greenbelt, No Airport Growth’ were waved outside Leeds Civic Hall before councillors backed the land release today.

It is thought that the land could be used to expand the terminal, develop possible new transport links and create an “airport village” boasting a hotel, restaurants and shops.

Coun Richard Lewis, the council’s executive member for transport, said: “We’ve made a huge commitment as a council to the expansion of the airport, it’s now the job of the airport to realise quite the commitment we’ve made and act in support.”

He said allocating the land for future development will “bolster the airport’s continued success” and ensure a major employment site in north west Leeds continues to thrive.

Coun Andrew Carter, Conservative leader, backed the idea but sought reassurance on the level of contact with residents over future plans. He said: “We are all aware improved access is imperative but there needs to be thorough consultation.”

Council leader Coun Judith Blake, said connectivity is “absolutely key”, though it is thought a link road is years away.

Leeds raked in nearly £60million from the £145m sale of the airport to private firm Bridgepoint in 2007. It aims to host 7.1m passengers a year by 2030.