Council leaders have called on the Transport Secretary to reveal how many years of extra noise “he expects local communities to suffer” as a result of the Heathrow expansion.

The Government launched its latest consultation on the third runway in January, which included a number of new proposals such as tunnelling the M25, the location of expanding terminal facilities and three options for the length of the new runway varying between 3,200 metres and 3,500 metres.

It believes it can keep noise pollution down by insulating homes and with quieter aircrafts.

Leaders from Richmond, Wandsworth, Hillingdon, and Windsor and Maidenhead Councils have criticised the “optimism” on noise pollution, which they say is “not backed by any hard evidence”.

They say locals do not know if they will be affected or how long for, asserting the failure “to provide this basic information makes the Government’s consultation meaningless”.

No flight plans have been included in the first stage of the two-part consultation, which relates to physical changes on the ground, and many believe an informed decision cannot be made until they are put forward.

Richmond leader Councillor Paul Hodgins said: “The draft NPS contains no detail on how a commitment to ‘ring-fence’ new slots for internal flights might work.

“So it is a ‘commitment’ which can’t be taken seriously.”

Cllr Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council, said: “Local people have a right to know what these increased noise levels would be, how long they would last and how many people’s lives would be affected.

“If he is placing his hopes on a new generation of quieter aircraft he should tell us when he expects these to come into service.

“We know that this can’t be before 2030 at the earliest so that’s at least four years of extra noise misery for the people affected.”

A department for Transport spokeswoman said: “We have been clear that expansion at Heathrow would not be allowed to proceed without a world-class package of compensation and mitigation measures for local communities.

“This includes noise insulation for homes and community buildings and a community compensation fund worth up to £50 million per year.

“We have consulted extensively on the options for airport expansion and will continue to engage with MPs and their communities as the proposals develop.”

The second stage of the consultation will deal with airspace.