Campaigners have hit back at Stansted Airport after it claimed there was widespread support for its expansion plans.

If plans are successful, the airport would be able to increase the number of its passengers from 35 million to 43 million each year.

Manchester Airport Group (MAG), which owns the airport, says increasing the passenger cap would create 5,000 jobs and generate £1 billion in economic value for the region.

But almost 1,000 representation letters have been sent by campaigners, residents, businesses and parish councils who say proposals would increase carbon dioxide emissions by more than a million tonnes a year.

Peter Sanders, chairman for Stop Stansted Expansion, said: “UDC received 934 individually-written letters and emails opposing the expansion proposals, including objections from 47 parish councils.

“This is a choice between the facts and spin; between the airport PR machine and the interests of our precious environment and the quality of life for local residents, their children and grandchildren.

“We don’t have the funds to invest in glossy publications, slick videos and celebrity endorsements.

“We do however have the confidence that our elected representatives will not be swayed by the spin.”

Uttlesford Council’s planning committee is due to consider the airport planning application on Wednesday.

The agenda for the meeting includes several objections from a number of parish councils, including Felsted, Great Bardfield, Great Saling, Helions Bumpstead, Little Bardfield, Shalford and Stebbing.

They raise issues concerning aircraft noise, air quality, traffic and carbon emissions.

An objection from Great Bardfield Parish Council said: “An increase in airport movements will inevitably mean an increase in overflying of communities in proximity to the airport.

“We expect Stansted Airport to provide assurances they will protect village environments from overflying.

“Pollution levels for air and water quality, and noise will be adversely impacted by an increase in flight and ground transport movements.

“There seem to be no proposals to mitigate or prevent the wider impact of increasing aircraft and passenger movements.”

Braintree Council also submitted a response accepting the economic benefits of the expansion, along with job creation, skill development and tourism.

However, it said the issue of congestion on the A120 at Galleys Corner had not been addressed in the application and it would like to work with MAG, Highways England and Essex County Council to minimise the impact on traffic.

Stansted CEO, Ken O’Toole, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support from such a wide spectrum of the community for our plans to make best use of the spare capacity on our single runway.

“The huge volume of submissions Uttlesford District Council has received for our application reaffirms our belief that the phased and managed development of the airport is the right approach to take, and gives the local community confidence future growth can be delivered in a measured and sustainable way.”