Liverpool City Council owns a 10% stake in the airport. Credit: via LJLA

Opposition grows against Liverpool Airport’s £100m expansion  

Liverpool City Council last night took a step towards “removing financial support” for the airport amid concerns about its proposed expansion and the impact that it would have on the environment and surrounding Green Belt. 

Last night, councillors backed a motion to explore the processes for removing the financial support it provides to Liverpool John Lennon Airport in protest against a proposed £100m expansion.

The city council owns a 10% stake in the airport but it is unclear what is meant by “financial support”. Peel Group and Ancala Partners own 45% each. 

It is also unclear what measures the city council could take to fight the expansion, aside from blocking planning applications and reviewing how some land around the airport is allocated in the local plan.

The motion was put forward by Green Party councillor Anna Key who said growing the airport would go against the city council’s aim of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. 

The airport hopes its expansion strategy could boost passenger numbers to 7.8m by 2030 by facilitating an increased number of flights. 

More than 5m passengers travelled through the airport in 2018 and 2019. However, in 2020 the pandemic limited the number of passengers to 1.34m. 

Plans for the expansion of the airport feature: 

  • Creation of a new road to serve the airport 
  • A large distribution or warehousing facility on land to the south of the airport 
  • Expansion and improvement of existing terminal and airport facilities 
  • Lengthening the runway 
  • A solar farm capable of offsetting 2.5m kWH’s of electricity each year.

The airport currently contributes £250m to the Liverpool economy annually but this could rise to £625m if the expansion goes ahead, the airport claims. 

Liverpool John Lennon Airport declined to comment. 

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They dont need to expand the airport, people can use Manchester Airport its a short train ride away.

By Anonymous

Just another example of the stranglehold this council inflicts on any prospect of Liverpool becoming an international hub and the economic development , jobs, infrastructure and investment that goes with it. This city is being locally governed back to the Stone Age in so many aspects of its social and economic life and left behind many other Towns and Cities

By Anonymous

I can’t believe how narrow minded this council is, led by a spineless mayor conspiring to strangle Liverpool’s future growth. Every major U.K. city is growing towards a successful future, run by city father’s who are intelligent, well-educated professionals. They get it that transport infrastructure including air connections and those cities by the sea, developing their cruise ship terminal’s, brings international world status and prosperity. I hate to say it but this is what Manchester has done. Liverpool needs people like the city father’s of the 17th century who built Liverpool as Britain’s Port of the Empire to rise from the grave and oust these brainless people who have no idea how to run a city but only ruin it.
Don’t they get it that a thriving airport and cruise ship terminal bring international tourists to our beautiful city and fuel the local economy?
This is our last chance to gain international status, support it or loose it and become a backwater, nothing less than a suburb of that dreaded city, Manchester.

By Anonymous

Liverpool shooting itself in the foot again as usual. Same old story year after year, decade after decade.

By Anonymous

Another embarrassing own goal by the council following the Romal Developments decision. Castore, Halewood International, RedX and so on… it is any wonder businesses leaves the city when the council is so anti-development? We are beyond a laughing stock now.

By Nick

Are you watching, MAG / MCC / other GM councils?

By the light of the moon

Just what are the credentials for being a Liverpool Councillor? Anti development, anti jobs ,anti economic growth, anti building,anti progress, it seems every which way you face elements on the council act in this bizarre fashion. Liverpool is a big city and part of a large metropolitan region, the airport bring business, employment, tourists and kudos to the area, some of these people will want to close the port next.
Workers at the airport and their unions won`t be happy about this.

By Anonymous

Absolute “terrorist” action by the City’s own representatives. These idealistic minded campaigners have no respect for the economy and employment prospects for the people of Liverpool. Next they will want to ban the Maritime industry then the tourist industry in Liverpool, so we can all wallow in poverty while they are comfortably off in their gilded cages.

By Liverpolitis

OMG – SHOCKING

By Anonymous

Anti-development, anti-business, anti-jobs, anti-the people who voted them into power, anti-common sense, anti-hope, beyond hopeless, beyond parody – say hello to Liverpool City Council.

By Paul

LIverpool is run by people with little or no commercial experience or understanding whatsoever and it shows with decisions like this. Absolutely shocking. Might as well put a banner across Dale Street saying ‘closed for business’. We’re back to the mid-eighties, with ideologues in comfy jobs dictating to the rest of us.

By Sceptical

Disgraceful attempt to stop this development…crucial for the city region economy and lots of jobs for our young people. The actual land the Oglet will still be protected …why should the airport owners invest in the future if they are stopped from sensible and measured development. Not clear wether this is a sub committee decision or a actual full decision by the council .

By George

I wonder whether you would all think the same if you lived directly under the flight path? There are far more sustainable ways of growing the local economy without damaging the both the immediate and wider environment. The Mersey estuary and the Wirral are important ecologically and deserve to be preserved as such. I’m delighted that the proposal is not going to just be allowed to steam roller through.

By Anonymous

Manchester airport may be a short journey away from you in Liverpool but for the people in Cheshire and North Wales don’t have that facility the airport is easier more friendly and far better than queueing in Manchester for an hour and a half. get real it is only 100-meter extension to the runway in land which is already owned by the airport

By Norman

laughable. they dont need an airport, a port, transport, homes, employment opportunities, health service. they can just use manchester, london or birmingham.

By TJL

Of course they did. All part of the ‘Liverpool closed for business’ narrative. And we don’t need HS2 either so there.

By Anonymous

Leaving aside climate change arguments – this is low hanging fruit, and stuff that Manchester does in a heart beat.

By Rich X

Liverpool: closed for business

By Anonymous

Surely this would reflect extremely badly on Liverpool on all accounts except environmental impact?

By Anonymous

An electric rail link to the airport would reduce pollution and expand the passenger catchment area. Would also facilitate residents in Speke, Hale and Ditton and take cars off the road. The government has given the Council £710m to develop the local railways. Use it to good cause .

By Forward Thinker

Re the poster concerned for those under the flightpath, and the ecology, airports all over the world cause noise ,etc, eg Nice, but we don`t hear them wanting to curtail activity as it is a lifeblood for jobs, tourism, and business, Liverpool is in dire need of jobs and economic activity and needs the airport to expand., and your logic says that on the grounds of ecology we curtail the expansion of the port as well. Do we also shut train lines because they cause noise pollution, or stop all motor traffic because of pollution from brake discs and rubber tyres, I am sure closing Halewood and Vauxhall`s would get your support too.

By Anonymous

I am alarmed at the negative response to this.
I am a North West city resident and property professional, so have a vested interest in the economic success of the region.

HOWEVER,
Air travel is polluting on a serious scale and I believe it is wise to question the rationale of expanding this pollution.
We all know we need to take a closer look at the impact of our actions and there is a VERY strong case for reducing the number of flights instead of targeting an increase.

We need informed and determined leaders who will take this responsibility seriously; well done Liverpool City Council for questioning this proposal.
I hope that my Council and our Government will follow their lead.

By Alarmed!

You cannot fully just rule out airport expansion, UNTIL you have a solution that meets climate change, for instance if in the future we have electric planes or something like that – Liverpool as a city HAS to have its own airport, because of its size, importance etc.

You cannot just rely on Manchester for everything, that is like saying “we might as well just go to Manchester for shopping, work”. It is like saying “you might as well move to Manchester”. The council is trying to kill Liverpool, when was the last time they did something good for it? With this new mayor?!

Also with that attitude, Manchester Airport doesn’t need to expand anymore. Heathrow is a short train ride away.

By Lisa

Manchester has just doubled its capacity potential and should be at circa 52million passengers by 2030. Is there even really the need for another airport in the North West? Its not that far for people from Merseyside to travel to and there are so many more destinations.

By JohnBoy

When aircraft are run on hydrogen, and the buses and cars to the airport are battery or hydrogen, how will people access the airport? But seriously this isn’t calamitous for the environment and there have been a few UK airports that have got approved runway extensions and other ancillary improvements in the last couple of decades without major problems.

By Anonymous

I think we need the expansion of the airport; it’s long overdue.
The airport contributes millions to our local economy. We we get a bigger airport, the Liverpool region will benefit financially.
The plans also include very good green credentials.

By T.C

Climate change is largely overlooked or dismissed in most of these comments. This is a central and key issue; we can’t forget COP 26 and carry on living as if there’s no problem. Sacrifices need to be made, not just by Liverpool, if life for our children is not to be intolerable in future.

By Steve B

We would not like to see an extention to the airport as the noise is bad enough for the people living in Speke.

By Victor Seymour

How short sighted – most airplanes will be flying on zero emission fuels in the next twenty years and the council love to spend all the taxes the airport creates.
Liverpool council are an absolute joke

By Stuart wood

I am very much in favour of the expansion.Only by increasing the revenue of the City Region can we hope to achieve the objectives of a more fair society we all crave.
We must not let the vociferous minority take the lead, We must not be downtrodden into mediocrity by theses small minded people who dont seem to realise that without the revenue their objectives will never be met.

By D J Foulis

Manchester City Council must be laughing their heads off as they learn Liverpool City Council will remove financial support as they are opposed to the expansion of the airport. I am shocked but not surprised to learn yet again Liverpool City Council can afford to turn down investment and jobs. For years Manchester City Council has looked to future and built a city that encourages growth and prosperity.This city does not. Once again the council is showing itself to be a laughing stock. How can any business be expected to invest here when they read such lunacy as this. Manchester continues to leave Liverpool behind and the gap in growth is going to get greater and greater. I don’t believe you’d ever read of any other city the state Liverpool is in, refusing investment yet again. Get ready for more business Manchester, because our city leaders clearly don’t want it. This is clearly a city that is destined to forever live in the shadow of Manchester. We’ll all be heading there not just for flights but for jobs as well. Go and have a look at the cranes on the Manchester Cityscape right now. Investors will read this news and continue to invest there and elsewhere but certainly not here. Take a look. Very few cranes here and very few planned. Investors will be put off all the more when they read news like this. Shame on Liverpool City Council and shame and shame again.

By Stephen Davis

Liverpool wants green fields to save the planet.
Invest inward in Manchester near a global airport. You know it makes sense.

By James Yates

So the eco`s don`t mind a mega airport in Greater Manchester, but don`t want a big one in Liverpool, we already have to travel to Manchester for work, and we won`t be getting HS2, so how much more do you want Liverpool to decline before it becomes a nothing town devoid of jobs, industry and wealth, so self centred these people, there will be no future for their children in Liverpool soon.

By Anonymous

To be clear, opposition does not grow towards the airport or its expansion plans.

Instead, a few councilors continue to misrepresent the city’s interests and pursue their single issue interests.

I think as this comment thread shows (and anywhere else this story has been printed) if opposition is growing to anything, it’s to this council being allowed to continue to do this kind of thing to us.

By Jeff

I want the expansion. Get it build.

By David

Its the correct decision. Not everybody wants to be like London or Manchester.

By Bixteth boy

It’s a wee airport by most standards. Not going to make a great deal of difference either way.

By Anonymous

Has anyone told Unite what Labour councillors in Liverpool are saying? Not much evidence of ‘solidarity’ with their Protect Our Airports campaign!…

By LEighteen

Oh Dear Liverpool?
And your leadership with continue to blame the Tory Government

By Anonymous

I am horrified by these plans to destroy The Oglet and Greenbelt land. The people of Speke (including myself) already suffer high levels of noise and pollution from the airport and A561.

By Hilary Clay

This council won’t be happy until tumbleweed is drifting along Lime Street.
How pathetic can they get? The Airports registered office is in Mcr care of Peel.
During the war Lpool airport was impounded by the War Office. The MOD kept control for many years after the war ended. Stopping any development whilst MAN grew. Now we have a backward thinking council doing the same.

By Simon

Unbelievable ? But Liverpool people will vote these back in because their Nan voted Labour in 1984

By Anonymous

If you buy or rent a house near a Airport knowing that planes take off from there in the first place then why would you then complain about the Airport thereafter

By Anonymous

Thanks Liverpool City Council , Thanks Steve dontbotherham we love you here in Manchester

By Anonymous

I live in the city and not too far from the airport, couple of things to point out to the few uninformed key board warriors below.
Regarding the Airport as usual its another fantastic asset for our city that is underused. One of the main advantages is the river , why ? because most take offs and landing take place over the river hence significantly reducing noise .
One last point , its tragic for the youth of the city to have their future prospects blighted by cretins in the council .They are overseeing our city into terminal decline its so sad .

By Paul M - Woolton

My my,!this has generated much debate and from what I can see it seems to crystallise where some perceive Liverpool’s continued ills stem from.. Usually the Mantra will be to apportion blame to whomever is seen as ‘the enemy’ ie the Tory government, Manchester, local councillors and leaders. It’s a human condition, we all do it. The reality is decisions on complex development requires unity ,vision and leadership if they are to be sold to other competing factions .Liverpool for historic and geo political reasons has more entrenched factions than almost any major city I can think of. Doesn’t mean things can’t be done but for good or for ill things definitely take longer to do if they’re done at all and that’s both a strength and a weakness. Not that I’m sitting on the fence or anything.

By Anonymous

Liverpool is the 13th busiest airport in the UK, and just because it has Manchester in proximity doesn`t mean it`s not important. We have lots of areas with competing airports eg Bristol/Cardiff, Glasgow/Edinburgh, Leeds/Doncaster, Belfast/Belfast City/Derry.
Cities will have to impinge on the natural environment but we don`t do too bad around our region, we have lots of countryside and open space, we have the sea as well.
There are so many jobs created directly and indirectly by the presence of the airport , including hotels, taxis , catering, if these jobs are lost we never get them back.
This will be the thin end of the wedge, as there are already those opposed to cruise ships and consequently merchant shipping too.

By Anonymous

Those mentioning climate change as justification for this neglect to mention one thing: Neither the Green Party nor any other party has been elected to national government to limit or close airports.

The argument to do so cannot secure a genuine democratic mandate. For good reason.

There is no justification for exploiting local political disenfranchisement to foist such extremism on us, which amounts to an attempt to set national policy, piece by piece, by stealth and without permission.

Since no other city in the UK, certainly not our main competitor, is going to close or limit their airports, the only thing this cynical event serves is to further undermine Liverpools economy, and set it on a course for future obscurity.

It’s not the airport that needs to be shut down.

By Jeff

Is Manchester Airport not still undergoing a £1bn expansion? Is this somehow ‘green’ expansion and Liverpool’s is not or is it just a difference in attitude from local councillors?

By Anonymous

Soon to be: Merseyrail – serving Manchester’s western suburbs with pride.

If you can’t fly to cities directly from the world, you have no serious ambition. That said, although I am jesting above, Manchester’s future rail policy is non-existent. They think trams will suffice and even taking away capacity from heavy rail metro lines to replace them with trams! Manchester is not serious about transport either, but for different reasons.

By Richard

Why can’t people from Manchester use Liverpool Airport if we are just a short train ride away?

By jeff hough

I believe the Metro Mayor is stepping in due to backlash !!!!

By Anonymous

@ Jeff Hough – people can, and do use Liverpool airport from Manchester. However MAN already has 2 runways capable of handling transatlantic aircraft, where the runway at Liverpool is too short for these, hence the desire to expand the runway

By Red Rose

We do use Liverpool airport, it’s nice to have a choice..and the parkings cheaper. Though I suppose that’s not very green either.

By Anonymous

@jeff

Manchester is well placed in the middle of the wider northern city region which includes Leeds, Sheffield and Liverpool, amongst others. Manchester has one of the best catchment areas in the UK, and not just for air travel.

By Anonymous

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