Bristol airport has reacted with “disappointment” after expansion plans were rejected by local councillors.

The scheme to raise capacity from ten to 12 million passengers a year was thrown out by a planning committee on environmental grounds despite council officers recommending approval.

Don Davies, leader of North Somerset Council, said: “What the committee has considered is that the detrimental effect of the expansion of the airport on this area and the wider impact on the environment outweighs the narrower benefits to airport expansion.

“I know some people will be upset by this decision and I am sure that we will reconsider it in future when the airline industry has decarbonised and the public transport links to the airport are far stronger.”

The airport expects to hit its current permitted capacity by 2021.

A spokesperson said: “We are disappointed by the decision of North Somerset Council’s planning & regulatory committee to recommend refusal of our planning application to increase Bristol airport’s capacity from ten to 12 million passengers a year, contrary to the recommendation of the council’s own planning officers.

“This decision risks putting the brakes on the region’s economy by turning away airlines who want to serve the south-west market, shutting the door to international trade and tourism at a time when the UK needs to show it is open for business.

“By preventing Bristol airport from meeting demand for air travel from within the region it serves, the council will simply exacerbate the situation which already sees millions of passengers a year from our region drive to London airports in order to fly, creating carbon emissions and congestion in the process.”