Plans for a new airport runway would be bad for the economic and ecological future of the region, experts have said.

The expansion, earmarked for either Gatwick or Heathrow airports, contradicts Government aims to reduce the country's carbon footprint and build a more sustainable way of life, it was decided at a meeting of the South East England Regional Assembly.

The group, made up of all sectors of society to represent the region, heard from aviation experts and environmental campaigners.

Members then voted to lobby the Government to review its aviation policy and stop plans for a new runway.

They said the economic success of the region depended on how climate change was dealt with in the future and it would be better to make the most of space already at airports than expand them with more runways.

Assembly chairman Keith Mitchell said: "We need greater commitment from the Government to reduce CO2 emissions."