Eastleigh Borough Council has approved controversial plans to extend Southampton’s airport runway
The council voted 22 to 13 to approve the plans from Southampton Airport to extend its runway.
Councillors 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.
Following a lengthy, extensive and robust debate the council made the decision to approve the Southampton Airport extension.
The decision to permit the application is subject to a range of conditions and the completion of a Section 106 legal agreement. The Section 106 legal agreement addresses important issues arising during the construction and operational phases of the development, including environmental air quality and noise issues, health, transport and ecological issues, together with a Carbon Strategy to reduce emissions from the airport’s own operations, and a plan to encourage the employment of local residents.
The planning application covers:
- A 164m extension at the northern end of the runway, within existing airport boundaries
- An associated blast screen adjacent to the runway
- Up to an additional 600 car parking spaces.
‘Safeguarding the future of the airport’
Steve Szalay, operations director at Southampton Airport, said: “This is the news we have been hoping for and working so hard to achieve. By listening to the overwhelming public and business support, as well as the planning officer’s recommendation to approve, the councillors have safeguarded the future of the airport.
“The decision also ensures we are well placed to provide employment and support the region as we seek to recover post-pandemic.
“We are excited about our future. This positive decision allows us to further develop our plans, play a full part in the Solent Freeport and deliver on our commitments set out within the planning application, which will further enrich our neighbouring communities.
“Thank you to everyone who has engaged with the consultations and shared their thoughts and opinions. We listened and reflected your feedback within our plans. You have helped shape the future of Southampton Airport.
“We appreciate that some of our neighbours have concerns regarding noise and the environment. Please be assured that we want to work with residents to mitigate these issues going forward.”
The council will now work with the Airport team to complete the Section 106 Agreement before issuing the permission.