Sutton Council says it’ll remain against Heathrow’s controversial expansion plans until it can be proven there will not be any new noise or air quality problems.

The authority fears extra aircraft numbers on existing runways, or planes flying at lower altitudes, could harm residents in terms of noise impact and air quality.

Sutton, which is roughly nine miles southeast of Heathrow, sees aircraft pass over it at above 5,000 feet – but proposals could see them descend to as low as 3,000 or 4,000 feet.

Heathrow’s proposed future changes, which aim to make better use of existing runways and a potential third runway, have been criticised by authorities in London and Surrey.

A council spokesman said: “We will continue to oppose expansion of Heathrow unless it can be shown that no new noise or air quality harm would result, and the benefits of future regulatory and technology improvements would be shared fairly with affected communities.

“Likewise, any increase aircraft numbers on existing runways, on aircraft overflying the borough at lower altitudes, has the potential to affect the quality of life of residents.

“We will continue to lobby for proposals which will minimise the impact on local communities.

“Any such development must also demonstrate how the surface access networks will be investigated in to accommodate the resultant additional demand alongside background growth.”

Heathrow Airport Limited’s consultation came under criticism from Sutton Council, being described as difficult to navigate due to the “volume and complexity of information provided”.

There was also concern over how plans didn’t show area-by-area comparisons of existing noise levels to potential future ones with the flight paths.

The council also says it was not offered a public event or opportunity to host consultation material for residents to look at, despite the borough being roughly nine miles away from Heathrow.

Although one was held in neighbouring Epsom and Ewell, this was slammed as “far from adequate” for its population of approximately 80,000 people.

The consultation closed shortly before midnight on March 4.

You can read Sutton Council's full response here.