The Eastleigh Borough Council has decided to permit the planning application for a runway extension at Southampton Airport (SOU) in England.

During a 19-hour debate in the full council meeting held on 10 April, 22 councillors voted in favour, 13 against and one abstained.

The airport plans to extend the runway by 538ft to handle larger aircraft such as the Airbus 320 and Boeing 737 for long-haul flights.

The expansion plans were formally proposed in 2019 and since then four public consultations have been conducted.

The council’s decision follows the rejection of the proposals by the Eastleigh Local Area Committee last month.

Some campaigners and local authorities have objected to the expansion, citing noise and climate change as the reasons, although Eastleigh planning officers recommended the plans for approval.

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Eastleigh Borough Council said in a statement: “The council listened to an extensive number of representations from local people, councillors and organisations, both for and against the runway extension, together with evidence from a range of specialists, as well as deliberating a detailed report.”

The council will issue the permit only after the closing of the Section 106 legal agreement.

Section 106 focuses on a range of issues such as environmental air quality, noise, health, transport and conservation that crop up during the development’s construction and operational phases, along with a strategy to lower carbon emissions from Southampton Airport’s own operations and a local job promotion plan.