Leeds Bradford Airport has been found in violation of a planning condition that limits night-time movements, exceeding the allowed number by 25% during the 2022 summer season. The breach was discovered following a complaint received by the council in October 2022, which prompted an investigation conducted in accordance with the council’s local enforcement plan.

The investigation carried out with the full cooperation of Leeds Bradford Airport, involved assessing compliance against all planning conditions. Upon a thorough analysis of the data, it was concluded that there were 3,667 night-time movements during the 2022 summer season, surpassing the cap imposed by 747.

Consequently, the council has served a breach of condition notice to Leeds Bradford Airport, which has been accepted by the airport authorities. As part of the notice, the airport has acknowledged the requirement to adhere to the limits outlined in its 2007 planning consent.

In order to ensure ongoing compliance with all planning conditions, the airport has implemented a revised monitoring framework. This framework will be subject to monthly review by the Leeds City Council.

While the local planning authority must operate within the confines of planning regulations, failure to comply with a breach of condition notice constitutes a criminal offence that can lead to prosecution through the courts. If Leeds Bradford Airport fails to adhere to the limits set out in the 2007 planning consent, the council can take further measures, such as issuing an enforcement notice, to ensure compliance.

Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s executive member for sustainable development and infrastructure, addressed the matter, stating, “Leeds City Council understands the public concerns which have been raised regarding night-time flight movements and have investigated this matter thoroughly, in accordance with our established procedures.”

Councillor Hayden added, “This has concluded that a breach has occurred, leading to a formal notice being served on Leeds Bradford Airport, which they have accepted. The airport has since put in place measures to prevent future instances, which will be subject to regular monitoring to ensure continued compliance to planning conditions.”

The council remains vigilant in monitoring the situation and possesses various options, including an enforcement notice, that it can pursue if necessary. It is worth noting that a breach of condition notice allows for the swiftest resolution to address this issue for the people of Leeds, without any right of appeal from Leeds Bradford Airport.

Councillor Hayden warned, “If the Breach of Condition Notice is not complied with, this can escalate into summary prosecution that can be brought in the Magistrates’ Court for the offence of contravening a breach of condition notice.”