SOUTHEND Council is set to formally oppose plans to build a £50billion airport in the Thames Estuary.

The council is expected to agree a motion to use “all means within its power” to block the bid to create one of the world’s biggest airports, just a few miles off the town’s coastline.

The pledge will be voted on by councillors on March 1.

John Lamb, the Tory deputy leader said: “It is absolutely the last thing we need. We have a thriving tourism industry and a thriving airport. Both of those would be undermined by this scheme.”

Two plans have been put forward for the estuary – London mayor Boris Johnson’s original idea for a floating airport off the Kent coast and architect Lord Norman Foster’s recent proposal for a four-runway airport on the Isle of Grain in Kent.

Previously, the Government has snubbed the idea of building a new airport as an alternative to a third runway at Heathrow.

However, last month, it revealed it was considering the idea.

Mr Cameron was said to be on the verge of announcing his backing for the scheme at the start of the year, but was blocked by Liberal Democrats, who oppose any airport expansion in the South East.

Mr Johnson even claimed the airport would only take six years to build if huge investment from countries such as Brazil or China could be secured.

The idea has been consistently opposed by politicians from all parties in south Essex.

The Southend Council motion cites worries about noise, environmental damage and disruption to the fishing industry as reasons for rejecting it.

It also highlights the problems an estuary airport could cause to the expanding Southend Airport.