The leaders of Richmond and Wandsworth councils have spoken out after the unveiling of a consultation on the "preferred masterplan" for Heathrow's third runway.

Both councils have been involved in legal action against the Government, but will have to pay a portion of legal costs after a fourth judicial review failed last month.

The newly launched 12-week consultation, which runs until September 13, unveils Heathrow’s plans to lower the M25 for the third runway to cross, reroute rivers, remove swathes of green-belt land for airport buildings and new super-sized car parks.

Richmond council leader, Gareth Roberts, said: "This consultation is huge. Presenting the public with boxes and boxes of impenetrable information.

"However, one thing is clear to anyone who reads it – millions of people are going to be impacted by these proposals.

“The Government is being utterly hypocritical by talking about how committed it is about climate change and air quality one day, then supporting airports expansion at Heathrow on the next.

“I urge anyone concerned about the expansion to state their objections loudly and clearly in their responses to the consultation.”

Wandsworth council leader Ravi Govindia said: “Heathrow already inflicts unacceptable noise nuisance and illegal levels of air pollution on millions of Londoners.

"A third runway would generate hundreds of thousands of additional flights and millions more car journeys, seriously undermining efforts to tackle climate change and air pollution.

“The Government has failed miserably to explain how these proposals fit in with their commitment to reduce carbon emissions."

Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s Executive Director for Expansion, said: “Expansion must not come at any cost. That is why we have been working with partners at the airport, in local communities and in Government to ensure our plans show how we can grow sustainably and responsibly – with environmental considerations at the heart of expansion.

"This consultation is an opportunity for people to have their say on our preferred masterplan, so it’s really important that as many people as possible take part. We look forward to hearing your views.”

Residents can have their say at