Southampton Airport runway extension meeting under way

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Southampton AirportImage source, David Goddard/Getty Images
Image caption,
The plans also include 600 extra parking spaces in the long-stay car park

A council meeting to decide plans to lengthen Southampton Airport's runway has begun.

Airport bosses want to extend the runway by 164m (538ft) to allow longer-haul flights.

The decision is being made at a full council meeting after Eastleigh Local Area Committee rejected the proposals following a two-day meeting.

More than 200 people have asked to talk at the meeting, which started at 14:00 BST and is due to continue on Friday.

Airport bosses have said the runway extension is "vital" for the site's future but campaigners and some local authorities have raised objections over noise and pollution.

Planning officers recommended to approve the expansion.

The head of housing and development at Eastleigh Borough Council is expected to present the plans at the start and answer initial clarification from councillors, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).

Members will then hear comments from those against the proposals, those in favour and from Southampton Airport bosses.

Councillors will then have the opportunity to ask further questions to the planning officer before a debate begins.

According to the authority, the debate will be limited to five minutes per councillor. At the end of the debate, all 38 councillors will be asked to vote.

Their decision could result in the plans being approved, rejected or deferred. If the decision is deferred, it will be considered by full council in Eastleigh at a later date.

Both an approval or rejection could be challenged, meaning the plans would then be considered by a planning inspector.

The expansion was officially proposed in 2019 and since then there have been four public consultations.

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