Following the decision of members on 10 March to oppose Leeds City Council’s airport expansion decision, branch president Ben Plumpton has written to the secretary of state for housing, communities and local government Robert Jenrick MP calling on the government to call in (review) the planning application for the expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport and hold a public enquiry.
The planning application to expand Leeds Bradford Airport, from 4 million passengers per year to 7 million, was approved by Leeds City Council’s plans panel on 11 March. The council has now referred the decision to government to consider the impact on the greenbelt, but UCU members want the decision to be called-in and for a public inquiry.
Dr Jennifer Fletcher, a senior research scientist in atmospheric and climate science at the university, who co-chairs the UCU branch climate and ecological emergency working group, said: “Expanding airports is incompatible with bringing down our soaring carbon emissions. It is vital that Robert Jenrick calls in this airport decision, as he did with the similarly controversial coal mine in Cumbria. As we recover from Covid-19, we need to increase healthy, green, well-protected jobs – not the sort of jobs associated with aviation.”
The branch motion and letter to Robert Jenrick follow an open letter from 246 staff and postgraduate researchers from the University of Leeds sent on 19 March.