The government has given the go-ahead to build the controversial third runway at Heathrow Airport.

The announcement was made this afternoon in the House of Commons by transport secretary Geoff Hoon who said the government was backing the £9 billion expansion of the airport, which would also see the construction of a sixth terminal.

It is hoped the new runway would be complete by 2019 or 2020 which would immediately allow for 600 additional flights a day over London.

The news spells the death sentence for the neighbouring village of Sipson where around 2,000 people will lose their homes while many more local residents will find themselves living within a few hundred yards of the new runway.

Green campaigners have argued the third runway is not in the UK’s interests at a time when the government is committed to cutting the country’s carbon emissions.

However, the travel trade has largely backed the project amid claims that the additional runway will allow Heathrow to double its capacity to around 116 million passengers a year within a few years of its opening.

The government has also pledged a possible new high-speed rail link between London and the north with a link from St Pancras in London to Heathrow.