Heathrow airport: MPs voted in the House of Commons today to approve a third runway at Heathrow airport.
Of the present MPs, 415 voted in favour and 119 voted against.
Chris Grayling who addressed the House of Commons said that by building a third runway at Heathrow, the UK “will move on from decades of debate and set a clear path as a global nation in a post Brexit world.”
He called the move “a really important step for our nation” and “the right thing to do for Britain.”
Those arguing in favour of the new plans say a new runway would increase Heathrow’s capacity from 85.5million passengers to 130million.
However, it is likely to lead to hundreds of homes being demolished in the nearby villages of Longford, Harmondsworth and Sipson.
Grayling announced £2.6billion in compensation for residents and noise control measures, and Prime Minister Theresa May has stressed the hundreds of thousands of jobs that would be created by the expansion.
Grayling assured the public that the work will only happen if air quality commitments are met.
The controversial Heathrow expansion is forecast to cost about £14billion but Grayling reiterated that the the expansion will be privately financed at no cost to the tax payer.
Ahead of the vote, officials said the expansion of Heathrow would create 114,000 extra jobs in the area around the airport by 2030, with an extra 16 million long-haul seats by 2040.
It would represent the first full-length runway in the south east since the Second World War, the Department for Transport said.
A third runway will boost the number of takeoffs and landings each year by 54 per cent taking the number from 480,000 to 740,000.
By 2040 a new runaway would better connect the UK to the Heathrow with an extra 16 million long-haul seats, the Department of Transport has said.
If all goes to plan the project the third runway should be open in 2026.
Heathrow currently has very few domestic services – just eight routes so there is much demand for Heathrow connections that can be served with the new runway.
The vote, which does not grant permission for the runway but does allow Heathrow to progress in the development process, was preceded by hours of at times fiery debate in the House of Commons.
A lie-in protest at Parliament’s Central Lobby also threatened to derail the crucial vote in the House of Commons.
Labour, who granted its MPs a free vote, opposed the airport’s plans, with shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald accusing his Tory counterpart Chris Grayling of making “a complete shambles of a vital national project”.
And the SNP also abstained from the vote, with transport spokesman Alan Brown confirming the move despite previously giving his support.
The vote was also notable for the absence of Boris Johnson who had spent years campaigning against the runway before leaving the UK ahead of tonight’s showdown.