Airport compensation plans revealed

THE owners of Stansted Airport have published a map showing the areas they believe will be worst affected by noise if plans for a second runway there get the go-ahead.

THE owners of Stansted Airport have published a map showing the areas they believe will be worst affected by noise if plans for a second runway there get the go-ahead.

Now people living nearby are to be asked for their views on how the British Airports Authority (BAA) can best compensate around 500 residents whose property values are likely be most affected.

A consultation process was launched yesterdayaimed at working out what forms of compensation people whose homes are affected by aircraft sound would prefer.

In legal terms, compensation for such homeowners would not be available until 2013 - a year after the airport plans to open the new runway.


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Stansted's Managing Director, Terry Morgan, said: "Nine years is a long time to wait for people who need to move, but whose property value is seriously affected. I want to give these people the chance to sell and move, if that's what they need to do.

"Through this consultation, we want to find out what the community thinks about the best way of providing support to these home owners.

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"We are consulting on two possible schemes, both of which in effect make BAA Stansted the home-buyer of last resort.

"We don't want to be a major residential landlord, but if we can bring some reassurance to home owners and confidence into the local housing market by being the buyer of last resort, then we are prepared to do it.

"It would be our intention to sell any properties we buy under this scheme back into the market as soon as possible."

BAA Stansted's Home Owner Support Scheme will be based on one of two existing voluntary compensation schemes, and the consultation asks which of these is the most appropriate.

The first option is an Assisted Relocation Scheme, based on a compensation system run for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link development.

Under this option, BAA Stansted would offer to buy eligible properties - within a defined "noise" boundary - if their value has been reduced by 15% or more as a result of proposals to develop a new runway.

The second option is a Property Protection Scheme, based on a scheme run by Central Railways. Under this option, BAA Stansted would offer a fully-transferable, legally-binding financial guarantee, exercisable once planning permission has been granted for the second runway.

The main difference between the proposals is that under the Assisted Relocation Scheme the homeowners must demonstrate the loss of value, while under the Property Protection Scheme no loss need be proven.

Also, under the Assisted relocation Scheme, BAA Stansted would offer to buy eligible homes at any time, while under the Property Protection Scheme the offer to buy is not made until after planning permission is granted.

The consultation also explains who would be eligible for the early compensation packages.

As with the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and Central Railways schemes, BAA Stansted will use a boundary defined by a 66 decibel 'noise contour' to determine which properties will be covered by the final scheme.

BAA Stansted has estimated that the scheme will cost tens of millions of pounds, but the actual cost depends on a number of factors, including the number of home owners who take it up and the price of their property.

The consultation document will be sent to residents, parish councils, Uttlesford District Council, Essex County Council and other property and community groups.

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