Campaigners attack compensation scheme

A WIDENING of a compensation scheme being offered to homeowners affected by the expansion of Stansted Airport has been branded “wholly inadequate.” Earlier in the year BAA Stansted launched a homeowner support scheme which offered to buy the properties of about 500 people hardest hit by the expansion plans.

A WIDENING of a compensation scheme being offered to homeowners affected by the expansion of Stansted Airport has been branded “wholly inadequate.”

Earlier in the year BAA Stansted launched a homeowner support scheme which offered to buy the properties of about 500 people hardest hit by the expansion plans.

People were told their property could be purchased at its value from June 2002, as if no runway had been proposed.

Yesterday the company announced it was extending the scheme to include “special cases” who live outside the qualifying boundary.


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However those people hoping to be included will have to demonstrate they have a severe medical condition, such as a chronic or degenerative disease, which makes making it necessary for them to move at the earliest opportunity.

Each application will be judged on its own merit but BAA said medical evidence would be required and those with stress or anxiety need not apply.

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Alastair McDermid, of BAA Stansted said: “This third voluntary initiative announced by BAA has been designed to target those who have exceptional medical circumstances that deserve our careful and sympathetic consideration.

“It offers help to those who find that property blight in the short term is preventing them from moving when they need to.

“We have been in touch with those who have already asked us to consider their circumstances and I can assure those who wish to apply that they will be treated fairly and in total confidence.”

But Peter Sanders, chairman of Stop Stansted Expansion, said yesterday's offer did not address the problem.

He said: “This is fairly limited as it does not meet our concerns at all. It is wholly inadequate.

“The loss in house prices extends to about 12,000 homes, but only about 500 people are covered by the scheme and we are arguing that the scheme is very, very narrow.

“The changes they are making are very, very limited indeed.”

Anyone wanting more information about the scheme should check the BAA website www.baa.com/stanstedhomeowner, or call the freephone helpline on 0800 0859918.

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