Expansion plans for Stansted Airport which could boost passenger numbers have been rejected, amid objections including the effect on climate change.
BAA wants to boost passenger capacity at Stansted airport
Uttlesford Council turned down BAA's planning application to increase passenger numbers to 35m a year.
The impact of expansion on climate change and the local environment had concerned councillors. BAA said it would appeal against the decision.
Stansted Airport said the issue would be decided at a public inquiry.
Terry Morgan, Stansted Airport's managing director, said BAA still wanted to build a second runway at Stansted and would make an application next year.
Uttlesford planning officers' reasons for recommending refusal included the impact it would have on noise levels, air quality, road and rail networks and local quality of life.
They said economic benefits had not been demonstrated to be strong enough to outweigh all other factors.
A second runway at Stansted was contained in the government's 2003 Aviation White Paper, a review of which is due from the Department for Transport before the end of this year.
Local residents who have formed a Stop Stansted Expansion campaign said they were "absolutely delighted" by the decision.
Environmental campaigners hailed the decision as a benchmark, saying it was the first time climate change had been listed as a reason for refusing a planning application.
"We are delighted by this local authority's decision," said a spokesman for Friends of the Earth.
"I think increasingly people are waking up to the threat of climate change. This decision is a fantastic sign that the public realises the need to do something."
Shadow aviation minister Julian Brazier said: "This result confirms the extent of local opposition to Stansted.
"We have to ask the wider question as to whether we should be predicting or providing for current growth rates in aviation, given the problems of climate change."