Extinction Rebellion projects video protest on Leeds Town Hall against expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport
Extinction Rebellion has released a protest video against the expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA).
The environmental campaign group projected footage of protesters objecting to the £150m expansion on Leeds Town Hall on Thursday.
Campaigners from Extinction Rebellion, GALBA (Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport), XR Families, Youth Strike for Climate, Clean Air groups and Greenpeace Leeds appeared in the video, three weeks after the project was given the go-ahead.
Leeds City Council approved the ambitious plans in principle during a planning meeting last month, which was met with fury from the campaigners.
The expansion plans include a new terminal with three main floors and improved vehicle access, which is to be built closer to a proposed new ‘parkway’ rail station, new car parking areas, as well as a new bus terminal and taxi drop-off facilities to the front of the new passenger terminal.
Extinction Rebellion says the expansion would increase greenhouse gas emissions at the airport "dramatically" during the next 10 years.
A lone protester threw fake 'blood' on the steps of Leeds Civic Hall following the council's decision to approve the plans and the latest protest has been staged online due to the ongoing lockdown.
A young mother who appears in the footage said: “I am appalled at their decision. Air pollution is killing people in Leeds and all over the world. We don’t need any more planes.”
Her toddler daughter holds up a sign that says 'our children are suffering'.
A spokesperson from Extinction Rebellion said: “Leeds City Council has made its worst ever environmental decision. Airport expansion flies in the face of the Council’s declaration of a climate emergency in 2019.
"Independent research shows that the increase in flights and passengers will use up all the city’s carbon budget in the coming decades.
"The council chose to ignore expert advice about greenhouse gas emissions, and about the negative impact of increased air pollution and noise on the health of people in the region. The Council was presented with evidence that the economic benefits promised by the airport are exaggerated.
"Yet, they decided to approve anyway. We believe that the council’s decision is wrong in law, wrong for our communities and wrong for our climate. Leeds City Council has put itself on the wrong side of history.”
Following the approval of the plans, a spokesperson for Leeds City Council said: "The council recognises that the Leeds Bradford Airport planning application has been the subject of much public debate and, from the moment it was first submitted, full and proper attention has been paid to the evidence and arguments put forward by supporters and opponents alike.
“There were a large number of matters for plans panel members to consider during this process, including the council’s declaration of a climate emergency and the issue of increasing carbon emissions from flights.
"Current Government policy points to these emissions being something that should be primarily tackled at a national level – and addressed through international agreements and protocols – rather than by suppressing growth at individual airports in a way that could simply export passengers to other nearby airports at a higher financial cost to them and increase surface transport emissions.
"The city plans panel also took into account matters such as the impact of aircraft noise on residents and the airport’s proposals for noise mitigation and landscaping as well as planned accessibility improvements designed to encourage a greater proportion of passengers and staff to use public transport for their journeys to and from the site.
"In addition, the airport’s plans showed that the proposed new terminal would replace the outdated and inefficient existing terminal and be built to a higher standard of environmental performance that would also provide an improved ‘gateway’ to Leeds, with an associated creation of new jobs.
"The application has been approved by the city plans panel today taking into consideration all of these issues, subject to a change and tightening up of certain conditions being discussed and agreed with the applicant, a section 106 agreement and referral to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. The council is keen to continue working closely with local residents, businesses, community associations and the airport as the development begins to take shape.”