THE choice to hold a public inquiry into Leeds Bradford Airport's expansion has suffered a delay.

Yesterday, a decision by Secretary of State Robert Jenrick on whether to ‘call in’ the proposed expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport was expected.

However, the Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) was told by the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government that the decision has been delayed for an unspecified amount of time.

Chris Foren, chair of GALBA, said: “Over the last few weeks we have seen environmental groups, community groups, MPs, scientists and literally thousands of people, writing directly to the Secretary of State asking for a public inquiry. Thousands more have signed our petition.

"We hope that the delay is a sign that Mr Jenrick is taking those requests very seriously.”

He added: “Leeds City Council has refused to accept responsibility to safeguard the health of our communities, our climate and future generations.

"As a consequence, the ball is in Mr Jenrick’s court. We urge him to take that responsibility and order a public inquiry.”

Jenny Bates, climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “Delaying the decision to expand Leeds Bradford Airport is just another example of the UK government’s talent for promising big on climate action, but not actually delivering.

“If it’s as serious as it claims to be about climate change, Leeds Council’s decision to approve expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport needs to be called in.

"Airport expansion anywhere clearly isn’t compatible with what we should be doing in a climate emergency.

"The government’s own advisors, the Climate Change Committee, says we shouldn’t be doing this, so if Leeds Bradford want to expand some other airports have got to come forward and cut capacity.

"The aviation sector can’t keep pleading special case status, emissions have to come down everywhere.

“Relatively few people take the majority of flights. This is why a frequent flyer levy would help, and of course making train travel preferable to carbon-intensive short-haul flights in our country.”