THE EXPANSION of Southend Airport has got the go-ahead from the Secretary of State.

The extension of the runway to allow for 2 million passengers to use the aiport has been given approval by John Denham, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

It had been called in by the Government days before Southend Council's development control committee approved the plans in January.

Anna Waite, planning councillor, was overjoyed when she found out the news this morning.

She said: "It's absolutely brilliant.

"It's fantastic news for the town.

"This will make us one of the best seaside towns in the country."