The controversial plan to lift the cap on passenger numbers from 35m a year to 43m required the casting vote of the chairman as the planning committee was equally split.
The Government will need to rubber-stamp the decision before owners, the Manchester Airport Group, can progress with a five-year, £600m construction programme to expand passenger facilities at Stansted.
These plans include building a new arrivals building and reconfiguring airport operations with two new taxiway links to the runway and remote aircraft stands.
A successful bidder for the £150m arrivals building will be announced in December with construction work on the 34,000 sqm, three-storey building beginning early next year.
The rest of the programme involves additional car park capacity and modifications to landside and airside infrastructure.
London Stansted’s CEO, Ken O’Toole, said: “The decision offers London Stansted and its airline partners the long-term clarity we need to make further investment decisions at the airport but also importantly provides the local community with the assurance that our future growth will be delivered in a measured and sustainable way.”