SOUTHAMPTON Airport bosses say they are "very disappointed" after plans to extend the runway by 164m were refused.

Eastleigh Local Area Committee voted five to three against the scheme, which will now be debated at a full Eastleigh Borough Council meeting.

The decision came after more than 16 hours of debate over two days, with campaigners arguing the plans would have an adverse effect on the environment.

The airport said the extension would allow for flights to different destinations and would boost the economy of the area.

Steve Szalay, Operations Director, said: “Naturally, we are very disappointed with the lack of support from the Eastleigh Local Area Committee (ELAC).

“The committee did not support the recommendations of the planning officer and in doing so it has gone against the majority of Eastleigh residents who expressed their support during the consultation as well as the local business community.

“However, this is far from over. We now welcome the opportunity to present our plans to the full Council on 8 April. 

“We hope they will listen to the will of the people, the local business community and their own planning team and make the right decision for the future of the airport and seize the opportunity to create thousands of much needed jobs.”