SOUTHAMPTON Airport has won a battle in the High Court over its controversial runway extension.

A judge at the High Court has thrown out the bid to stop the expansion put forward by GOESA Ltd.

The company, which was set up by campaigners against the runway extension, argued that Eastleigh Borough Council’s approval for the scheme was unlawful.

But now the legal challenge has been thrown out on all five grounds that were argued.

READ MORE: Southampton Airport wins High Court battle over runway extension

An airport spokesperson welcomed the news that the approval of the plans to extend the northern end of the runway by 164m was lawful.

They said: “The court’s judgement is an exciting step forward for Southampton Airport, as it will allow us to progress our much-needed runway plans, provide certainty to our staff, and play a full part in the emerging Solent Freeport.

“The extension will secure the airport’s long-term viability and deliver significant economic benefits to the region, not least the creation of much-needed new jobs, including employment opportunities during the construction phase.”

Campaigners have said they may appeal the decision and will be seeking legal advice on their next steps.

John Lauwerys from GOESA Ltd said: “It is a very disappointing outcome and quite a surprise to us. We felt we had a strong set of issues to argue.

“Another judge said we had cases to make. At this stage, we need to take further advice from our legal team to consider whether to appeal.

“We clearly have to consider raising further funding. This is all being funded by individuals. All of that is to be considered.”

The expansion was formally approved last June after permission was given at a full council meeting in April.

The Eastleigh MP has spoken of the benefits the scheme will bring.

Tory, Paul Holmes said: "I am incredibly pleased with the outcome of the judicial review which has found that Eastleigh Borough Council’s permission for the extension to Southampton Airport's runway, which I have consistently campaigned for, was not unlawful.

"This plan, which will directly benefit my constituents by bringing skilled jobs and fire up regional growth in Hampshire and beyond, will now be allowed to progress to the next stage.

"Going forward, I look forward to working with local authorities, residents, and other stakeholders to bring the benefits of this much-needed positive development to my constituents in Eastleigh as soon as possible."

The airport spokesperson added: “We would like to thank all those who have supported our runway plans over the last few years, particularly the residents and businesses who registered their support during the planning process.

"We appreciate, however, that some of our neighbours have concerns regarding noise and the environment.

"As an airport, we want to work with residents and stakeholders to manage and mitigate these concerns going forward.”

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