THOUSANDS of people have signed a petition to protest in favour of the expansion of Southampton Airport runway.

On March 28, Eastleigh MP Paul Holmes launched a petition against the decision to refuse planning permission for a runway extension at Southampton Airport.

This came after a meeting on March 25 and March 26 where Eastleigh Local Area Committee voted five to three in favour of refusing the airports planning application.

Now though, in less than a week, over 2,000 people have signed the petition, which the MP says is aimed at showing the “public backing” for the runway extension.

Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, Cllr Keith House claimed that “understanding that local jobs and services are at stake is already well understood”.

But the Eastleigh MP said he is delighted that 2,000 people have signed his petition already which he has entitled “Save Southampton Airport”.

He added: “This shows the clear public backing for the expansion of Southampton Airport.

“This isn’t just about public support though, the airport expansion was also endorsed by the Council’s own planning experts who recommended approval after considering all the evidence.

“The case for approval is overwhelming. I call on Councillors to make the right decision and support the runway extension.”

The airport decision has now been referred to a full council meeting on April 8.