APPROVAL of plans to expand the runway at Southampton Airport has caused waves of mixed reaction among local parties, MPs and campaigners.

Despite 19 hours of deliberations hosted online over the course of two days, many people have been left unhappy with the decision whereas others have been overjoyed.

Members of the Green Party in Southampton have expressed their frustration following the decision made by the Liberal Democrat council in Eastleigh.

The Green Party is now calling for a "boycott" of the Lib Dems.

The party claims that people living under the flight path in Bitterne, St Denys and Portswood will have their lives "blighted" when larger planes start to operate from the airport.

John Spottiswoode, Green Party, said: “This vote shows that the Liberal Democrat promises about acting to prevent the Climate Emergency were just empty words.

"You cannot trust the Liberal Democrats to deliver what they promise.

"With local elections coming up in Southampton in May where Liberal Democrats seek votes from the population in the city they should be boycotted and a clear message shown that what happens in Eastleigh impacts on the people of Southampton and vice versa."

Campaigners have branded the decision made by the council as "very unfortunate".

Clean Air Southampton told the Daily Echo: "This decision by Eastleigh Borough Council, against the wishes of the surrounding councils is very unfortunate.

"The economic case for the extension has not been made and there is no environmental case for it.

"Even ignoring the wider environmental issues with aviation the costs of this decision will be carried by the hearts and lungs of the young people growing up in Southampton, who will see little or none of any benefit from it."

Other campaigners who objected to the controversial plans to expand the runway, have pledged to continue to oppose the plans.

Airport Expansion Opposition said: " Today’s decision is by no means the end of the matter. It is completely wrong, not only in principle but also in the way it was reached. We shall be taking advice as to our options for future action."

They added: "This is a bleak day for local people and everyone who cares about our environment, but it is just a set back in the transition to a sustainable future. We thank those councillors who gave proper weight to noise, pollution and the climate emergency."

Despite this, many area bosses have been left thrilled by the news.

Southampton Airport’s runway, Operations Director, Steve Szalay, 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."

Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, Cllr Keith House, told the Daily Echo: “The decision to approve the short runway extension was the right one for the Southampton area.

"Thousands of jobs were on the line with the risk of the airport closing.

"Eastleigh Borough Council negotiated a cap on passenger numbers with 3 million not to be reached until 2034 and strong controls on noise and night flying.

"Aviation will become greener in the future and this decision protects both the economy and the planet.”

Leigh-Sara Timberlake, Group CEO of Business South, said that they are "delighted the extension will go ahead".

"As we look to recover economically from the effects of the pandemic," she added

"Southampton Airport will have a vital part to play and its future has been made more viable today with this welcome news."