BEXLEY residents have welcomed plans to fight the High Courts decision to allow Biggin Hill Airport to be transformed into a luxury terminal for business passengers.

Bromley Councils policy and resources committee, chaired by council co-leader Councillor Chris Maines, took the decision to appeal against the November 21 court decision, at a packed meeting.

A report on the airports plans and how it will affect the Sidcup area was published in the News Shopper on November 29, and has generated huge interest in Bexley.

Cllr Maines said: We are appealing because we feel the protection of the environment is paramount to local people. We expect the process will take about nine months.

David Brett, chairman of Lamorbey Residents Association, which is co-ordinating the Bexley protest, says he is delighted to hear of the appeal. He hopes Bexley Council will now join Bromley in the battle, on behalf of its residents.

Flight Path has been spearheading opposition to the development.

Spokesman Hugh Bunce said: We are very pleased Bromley Council is seeking leave to appeal against the judgement.

The introduction of scheduled services at Biggin Hill could have very significant environmental consequences along the flight path areas in Bromley and Bexley where more than 200,000 people live.

If the airport expands, planes using Biggin Hill will fly over Sidcup and other parts of Bexley about every eight minutes at a height of 2,370ft.

Orpington MP John Horam has written to John Prescott, urging him to allow Bromley to consider the effects of the development on the environment.

A Biggin Hill Airport spokesman said: We prefer not to comment while the procedure is under the jurisdiction of the High Court.

Anyone interested in getting involved in the campaign, should call Mr Brett on 020 8300 4012.