New initiative launched at Stansted
(press release issued 21 September 2004 by BAA)
Local residents who own property in the area closest to the site of the proposed second runway at Stansted Airport, are to have the value of their homes and commercial property guaranteed for up to 15 years.
The Home Owner Support Scheme (HOSS) is being launched entirely at the initiative of BAA Stansted, and is in response to the "Future of Air Transport" White Paper that asked the airport to address the issue of generalised blight associated with the new runway. The Department for Transport has confirmed the scheme is consistent with the Government's policy on voluntary blight schemes.
The announcement of the scheme follows an extensive public consultation, and the details set out today reflect many of the views expressed by respondents to that consultation.
BAA, the owner of the airport, is promising to buy property at a market rate index-linked from June 2002, which is the time before extra runway capacity at the airport was considered, to prevailing price levels at the time of sale. Those who qualify within the boundary, and wish to move, will be able to do so from the time when BAA announces it will construct the new runway, subject to planning permission. The data used to assess this movement will be taken from Land Registry published data of house price movements in the county of Essex.
This will ensure that homeowners who need or want to move can sell their homes for the price they would have realised if the runway plans did not exist. The agreement will be transferable to future owners if owners sell before the runway is given the go-ahead.
The majority of those who responded asked for a defined boundary to the scheme. As noise boundaries are usually adopted for generalised blight schemes, HOSS adopts a predicted contour of 66 dBA Leq. This represents a medium to high noise annoyance, determined by the Government as the extent of potential blight that might occur due to the operation of the new runway in 2030. This is the level used on other major infrastructure developments, such as the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.
HOSS follows the launch in January this year of the Home Value Guarantee Scheme which offers to purchase property falling within the proposed expanded airport boundary. To date, over 30 per cent of owners have sold, or are selling, their property to BAA Stansted.
BAA Stansted managing director, Terry Morgan, said:
"The Government asked us to address the question of generalised blight, and that is exactly what the Home Owner Support Scheme is all about. It is designed to target help at a specific group of people who own property in the area closest to the site of the proposed new runway, and whose properties are likely to be worst affected by it.
"As the planning process for the new runway moves forward, we will be discussing with the local community a whole range of further issues, such as how we might reduce noise associated with the new runway.
"We are very grateful to the many people from a wide area who responded to our consultation, all of whom helped to shape the scheme we are announcing today."
Full details of the scheme are set out in a booklet being delivered to local homes and businesses today.
BAA consults on airport blight protection and noise schemes, worth up to £400m to local residents
(another press release issued 21 September 2004 by BAA)
BAA plc today launched a series of consultations in the South East and Scotland on proposed voluntary compensation and mitigation packages for aircraft noise and property blight. The schemes could be worth up to £400m to residents in local communities around BAA airports over the next 30 years.
The consultations follow on from the Government's White Paper on aviation, published in December 2003, which set out a framework for the development of UK airports in the next 30 years.
BAA's noise consultations (at Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Glasgow and Edinburgh) aim to develop voluntary schemes to provide noise insulation for noise-sensitive buildings, such as schools and hospitals, and a financial package for relocation assistance, capped at £10,000, for residents in the noisiest areas who want to move.
The property blight consultations (at Heathrow, Gatwick, Glasgow and Edinburgh) aim to develop voluntary schemes to provide support to local homeowners in two ways:
- Residents whose homes may need to be bought if a new runway is built would be offered a Property Market Support Bond – a legal guarantee that BAA will purchase them at index-linked, unblighted prices, if a decision is taken to apply for planning permission.
- Residents living close to the airport (within the 66-decibel noise contour of a proposed new runway), whose property values may be affected by potential development, would be offered access to a Home Owner Support Scheme – a legal guarantee that BAA would offer to buy their property at index-linked, unblighted prices, once planning permission is granted and a decision is taken to proceed with construction. Additionally, relocation assistance is proposed for eligible homeowners who wish to move early.
BAA has already launched voluntary property blight schemes at Stansted, where it is currently progressing plans for a second runway.
BAA's Chief Executive, Mike Clasper, said: "Airports can be noisy places to live near, and major developments can cause uncertainty and may affect property values. We want to do the right thing by our local residents and minimise, mitigate and compensate for these impacts, and how we do this is what we are consulting on. These proposed schemes will be among the most generous voluntary schemes ever implemented for a major development.
"The Government has given us a framework to grow our airports and we are determined to do this responsibly. We know we are not always a perfect neighbour, but through these schemes we aim to be a good neighbour and retain the support of our communities."
The out-turn costs of the schemes will depend on which runway developments eventually take place and on the extent of take-up of the offers of assistance.
The consultations will be open until 21 December and final details of the schemes will be launched early in 2005, for implementation as soon as practicable thereafter.
the consultation proposes that BAA will provide noise insulation for schools and hospitals within the 63 decibel noise contour of each airport.
the consultation proposes that BAA will offer assistance with relocation for eligible property owners within the 69 decibel noise contour of each airport who want to move. The assistance would comprise 1.5% of the completion sale price of the affected property, plus a lump sum of £2,500, subject to a maximum cap of £10,000.
Property Market Support Bond:
the consultation proposes that BAA offers a legally-binding agreement to eligible property-owners within an area which would be needed for development, that if the airport applied for planning permission for a new runway BAA would buy the property at an index-linked, unblighted price. BAA would also make an extra 10% payment once planning permission was granted.
Home Owner Support Scheme:
the consultation proposes that BAA offers a legally-binding agreement to offer to buy eligible properties within the 66-decibel noise contour of a new runway, at an index-linked, unblighted price, once BAA announces its decision to proceed with the construction of a new runway. This decision would only be taken once planning permission for a new runway has been granted. In addition, for homeowners who wished to move early and whose property value had dropped by 15% or more, BAA would offer to buy the property at an index-linked, unblighted price, subject to certain conditions. For homeowners who wished to move early but whose property values had fallen by less than 15%, BAA would pay a contribution of 1% of the sale price, plus the equivalent of the stamp duty payable on the house being sold, up to a maximum of 5% of the sale price.
Press releases taken from the BAA Newsdesk.
BAA's "Home Owner Support Scheme" - revised September 2004 (Acrobat ® format, 1.2 MB)
BAA's Noise Consultation Document (Acrobat ® format, 205 KB)
BAA's Issue Brief - Aircraft Noise (Acrobat ® format, 353 KB)
"Consultation on airport noise launched by BAA plc" - press release issued 21 Sep 2004 by BAA
"BAA DISREGARDS COMPENSATION OBLIGATIONS" - press release issued 21 September 2004 by SSE
"Local estate agents back Stansted's development" - press release issued 28 Sep 2004 by BAA
"VICTIMS OF A PETRIFIED HOUSING MARKET" - press release issued 2 October 2004 by SSE
Open letter to BAA on the revised scheme - issued 7 October 2004 by Takeley Parish Council
"BAA consider special cases" - press release issued 2 November 2004 by BAA
"Legal Action Initiated Over Stansted Expansion Blight" - press release issued 16 November 2004 by Takeley Parish Council
"BAA the Target of Legal Action Over Expansion Blight" - press release issued 2 January 2005 by Takeley Parish Council
Takeley Parish Council
SSE Media Centre
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