GREEN campaigners are calling for a rethink on Leeds Bradford Airport’s expansion plans following the rejection of Heathrow’s third runway.

The Court of Appeal ruled on Thursday, February 27 that proposals to create a new runway at Heathrow were illegal and in breach of the UK’s climate change commitments under the Paris agreement.

The Green Party is now calling for an end to all airport expansion and the Green leader on Kirklees Council, Councillor Andrew Cooper, believes no public money should be used to help the planned multi-million pound expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA).

He said: “The Heathrow judgement has serious implications for West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) and the councils here in Yorkshire that have supported airport expansion.

“West Yorkshire council leaders and councillors will have to stop paying lip service to our environment – one minute saying we need to do something about climate change and the next supporting projects we know will have a catastrophic impact on increasing carbon emissions.”

That view is shared by Otley Town Councillor Mick Bradley (Green, Danefield). He said: “The Court of Appeal judgement has much wider implications, including locally. It means Leeds City Council and WYCA have to take account of their declaration of a climate emergency in responding to LBA’s intention to increase passenger numbers.

“With Leeds council having set a target of net zero carbon by 2030, and WYCA across the Leeds City Region by 2038, this means cutting emissions by 20 per cent or 15 per cent, per year, respectively. These are ambitious targets and incompatible with local airport expansion.

“If WYCA still has any plans to financially support the expansion I believe the money would be far better spent on seeking ways to take over running an integrated, reliable public bus and train system.”

Contacted for a comment, Leeds City Council referred to its most recent climate emergency report which states that: “The council accepts that aviation growth and meeting zero carbon targets are fundamentally incompatible until such time as new technologies are developed.

“The council believes that aviation targets need to be set at a national and international level rather than locally.”

In January LBA, which wants to increase passenger numbers to 7 million by 2030, unveiled plans to create ‘one of the most environmentally efficient terminals in the UK’ to support its expansion drive. The proposals include building a new three floor terminal within the airport’s boundary for a cost of up to £150 million, and are due to be submitted this Spring.

The airport was contacted but did not wish to comment.