South Bucks District Council (SBDC) has backed controversial plans to create a third runway at Heathrow Airport – despite concerns previously being raised over the impact it could have on some residents in the area.

At a meeting of the cabinet yesterday (October 17) members agreed to change their position on the major expansion from ‘neutral’ to ‘support’ after a brief discussion.

The move will come as a blow to some residents living in the south of the county, who have raised concerns over the impact it could have on traffic as well as noise and air pollution in the area.

Speaking after the meeting deputy leader of SBDC, councillor John Read, said the move would put the council “in the best position” to work with Heathrow Airport and ensure impacts of the development benefits the community.

He said: “The government’s intention for Heathrow Airport expansion to go ahead is clear and the council has therefore considered our position in light of this fact.

“Until now, we have been neutral on Heathrow expansion. We acknowledge that there will be economic benefits, however, there are still many issues to resolve – including air quality, surface access and noise.

“We believe that by giving our support to expansion we will be in the best position to work with Heathrow Airport Limited.

“We can make our voice heard, ensure the impacts of the expansion benefit our communities and that we are provided with mitigation for any adverse impact.

“The best way to achieve this is through engaging with Heathrow Airport. Therefore the cabinet agreed to support the expansion.”

A council report stated SBDC would be seeking mitigation measures for a number of issues presented by the development, including air quality, land quality, noise pollution and traffic and transport.

The Ivers Parish Council previously expressed “disappointment” over the government’s approval of the scheme, due to the “close proximity” of the runway to the parish boundaries.