The Government has voted in favour of the expansion of Heathrow.

On Monday, the government voted for the project by a huge majority – 415 votes to 119. The successful vote means that detailed plans for the new runway will be created, which will then be subject to a planning inquiry before the project can proceed further.

The approval of the controversial project has raised jubilation and despair in equal measure amongst local leaders and campaign groups. Adam Afriyie, MP for Windsor, stayed true to his promise and voted against the expansion, despite the Conservative party issuing a three-line whip to its members to vote in favour.

Mr Afriyie said: “I would encourage everyone else who has fought with me in this cause to not lose heart. Whilst this was a disappointment, it is not the end of the fight. A legal challenge is already being formulated, arguing that the Government’s plans do not provide adequate protection against air pollution.

“In the meantime, my constituents have my commitment that I will continue to fight the third runway in any way that I can.”

Meanwhile, Tan Dhesi, MP for Slough, voted in favour of expansion, although he said he did so with a ‘heavy heart.’

Although the Labour party is officially opposed to expansion, it granted its members a free vote on the issue.

Mr Dhesi said he had concerns about the environmental cost of Heathrow and the impact on residents. But he felt  on balance creating jobs and improving Britain’s trading capacity in light of Brexit tilted him in favour of expansion.

Mr Dhesi said: “We have been given a binary decision to make at this stage...there are many questions that still demand answers.

“In many ways, I vote in favour of expansion with a heavy heart. Of course I am concerned about the environment. I care about the people who will be uprooted from their homes.

“I will continue to press for concrete guarantees on local jobs, the siting of offices and facilities in Slough, investment in skills and training, and tangible benefits for the people of Slough.

The leader of the Royal Borough, Cllr Simon Dudley, announced that the Royal Borough, alongside a number of other boroughs, would be launching a legal challenge to the expansion plans.

Cllr Dudley said: “We’re very disappointed about the vote. We’ve consistently said that we will protect our residents from expansion, so next week we will be sitting down with our lawyers to examine the strength of the legal case, and decide if we wish to join in with other boroughs in a legal challenge against expansion.

“We won’t be involved in any frivolous action.”

The anti-Heathrow expansion campaign group Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (HACAN) expressed their disgust at the vote. The chairman of HACAN, John Stewart, said: “A third runway will turn peaceful areas of London and the Home Counties into torrents of noise as planes pass over at a rate of one every 90 seconds. Up to 100,000 people could experience relentless noise for the first time.”

Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye, said: “Parliament has ended 50 years of debate by deciding that Heathrow expansion will go ahead. This vote will see us deliver more jobs, create a lasting legacy of skills for future generations and guarantee expansion is delivered responsibility.

“We are grateful that MPs have made the right choice for Britain and today we start work to create the best connected hub airport in the world.”