Stansted runway may boost house prices

NO immediate impact on property prices in Essex is expected as a result of the announcement of Stansted Airport's expansion.However, estate agents said yesterday an extra runway could raise house prices in the long term, especially in the north east of the county.

By Roddy Ashworth

NO immediate impact on property prices in Essex is expected as a result of the announcement of Stansted Airport's expansion.

However, estate agents said yesterday an extra runway could raise house prices in the long term, especially in the north east of the county.

The Government announced its backing for an extra runway at Stansted in a long-awaited White Paper on Tuesday, bringing months of speculation to an end.


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The news was greeted with dismay by campaigners who had fought against the prospect of an enlarged airport on both environmental and planning grounds.

Jonathon Bysh, a Colchester-based estate agent, said he expected a long term increase in local property prices.

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"An airport will bring more jobs and therefore more demand for housing in the area.

"The value of properties very close to it could drop if it became an industrial area.

"But Stansted is unlikely to be bad for prices in a place like Colchester and the convenience could be an attraction. I would think there would be an increase in prices over the long term"

However Hugh Bidmead from John V Story estate agents in Clacton said: "I don't think it will have a dramatic effect on prices here.

"I would like to think it would be beneficial, but Stansted is still an hour away from here."

Dave Lee, a valuer for Fenn Wright in Witham, said he doubted there would be much impact on local prices in the near future.

"It will probably increase demand, but I think it will be quite a way down the road. It also depends on how the transport is.

"If the road to Stansted is like a car park, it could be detrimental."

Jeremy Goddard, of Goddard and Co estate agents in Ipswich, said: "I don't think it will affect Ipswich soon because it is a long way away.

"However, an airport will enhance property prices because a lot of people use airlines these days – generally I think prices will be uplifted."

Meanwhile, business leaders in Essex have welcomed the opportunities that the proposed expansion of Stansted airport will bring to the county.

Nicholas Cook, chairman of the Essex branch of the Institute of Directors, said: "While there were few in the county who would have actively sought this expansion, we must look at the positive aspects.

"There will be huge opportunities for Essex to boost both the local economy and the image of the county in general as a player on the international stage, proud to host such a modern airport.

"We must aim to reap the business and economic benefits that will arise

from the key position that Stansted holds as a major gateway to the UK."

But Suffolk county councillor, Julian Swainson, who holds the portfolio for the sustainable environment and transport, said he was "disappointed" that the government had decided to give the go-ahead to plans for two new runways in the south-east of England.

The government determined that the first runway should open at Stansted by around 2012 and the second at Heathrow around 2015-2020, provided EU air quality standards can be met there.

Mr Swainson said: "We are disappointed that, whilst the Government has recognised the potential for growth which already exists at airports in the south-east, and at regional airports, they still wish to push ahead quickly with new runways.

"This is especially true of Stansted, where the county council has accepted the principle of maximum use of the existing runway, which could allow at least a trebling of present levels of traffic.

"The county council will need to consider what action it should take when detailed proposals for Stansted are published and all the necessary environmental and other assessments have been done.

"In the meantime, the imminent publication of Regional Planning Guidance for the East of England does not make provision for a second runway at Stansted; we would expect all the necessary infrastructure to be in place in time for the second runway to open by 2013 including high quality public transport options."

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