More than 1,600 residents objected to London City Airport’s plans to extend its flying time on Saturday afternoons as noise from planes “already drowns out conversations and makes gardens unusable”.

London City Airport wanted to extend its cut-off time for flights from 1pm on Saturdays to 6.30pm all year round and 7.30pm during the summer months, as well increasing its daily limit of flights from six to nine between 6.30am to 7am.

But the proposal was unanimously rejected by Newham Council’s strategic development committee on Monday (July 10).

For the last 25 years the airport has had a “weekend respite” which means planes are banned from flying between 1pm on Saturdays to 12.30pm on Sundays so residents can have a break from the noise. 

As part of its proposals, City Airport pledged to use a “cleaner, quieter new generation aircraft” and said there would be thousands of jobs up for grabs for local people.

However the plans have been met with 1,644 objections from nearby residents and several London councils have strongly opposed to the plans having cited noise as a major concern. 

Out of 57,379 letters that were sent out to nearby residents earlier this year as part of a public consultation, there were 1,644 letters of objection received and just 75 responses that were in support of the plans.

One resident said: “Noise already drowns out conversations and makes gardens unusable.” Another said: “Quieter planes are not really quiet.”

A third objector said: “Quiet time on weekends is valuable and was agreed with residents.” Other residents expressed concerns for air pollution and the impact more flights could have on traffic in the area as part of their objections.

Those in support of the plans said it would provide a boost to local jobs and businesses and that more flights could mean a broader choice of destinations and cheaper fares. One resident said: “If the airport was busier it would create more jobs and amenities in the local area.”

Another person said: “Newham already has City Hall, cable cars and Olympic grounds. A proper airport is a benefit to the borough.”

Representations from the boroughs of Lewisham, Waltham Forest, Redbridge, Southwark, Greenwich, Havering, Hackney and Tower Hamlets – all of which have also objected to the plans – were published in council documents.

Following Monday’s meeting, a Newham Council spokesperson said: “The refusal reflects the council’s continued concerns over the noise and environmental impact of the airport on those living nearby. These concerns were shared by a number of other boroughs who also submitted objections to the proposals.

“The decision upholds the recommendation made by planning officers.

“Newham Council has declared a climate emergency and is working to support residents to live happy, healthy and well.”