Generous but Cynical

Beware BAA Bearing Gifts, Cautions Pressure Group

Residents group HACAN ClearSkies has called the plans BAA published yesterday to deal with blight and noise around Heathrow ‘generous but cynical’.

Yesterday BAA announced a three month consultation on its proposals to assist residents whose properties may be blighted because of the continuing threat from a third runway. It also announced plans to deal with noise levels in areas close to Heathrow (1).

BAA has said that, if it finally decides to go-ahead with a third runway (2), it will offer compensation to residents whose homes would need to be demolished. It will offer to buy people’s homes at their 2002 prices (before the possibility of a third runway was proposed), plus inflation, plus 10% removal expenses. Removal expenses would also be available to people, within two or three miles from Heathrow, who would be living under the 3rd runway flight paths (3).

BAA has issued a separate consultation on noise mitigation measures. It is offering people who currently live about 2 miles from the airport help with reallocating if they decide to move (4). And it is planning to install improved sound insulation in schools and hospitals under the existing flight paths for areas within about 5 miles from the airport (5).

HACAN ClearSkies Chair John Stewart said, “This is a generous but cynical package. The levels of compensation are higher than before, but BAA’s motives in making the offer must be questioned. They are simply trying to buy off protest. This is Santa with a sneer. There is nothing whatsoever in this for the tens of thousands of people across London and the Thames Valley who live further away from the airport and who will experience increased noise levels if a 3rd runway is built.”

Notes for Editors

  1. The Aviation White Paper, published by the Government on 16th December, required BAA to draw up these consultation proposals.

  2. In the Aviation White Paper a 3rd runway at Heathrow was put on hold until at least 2015. The Government was concerned that, if a 3rd runway was built earlier, pollution levels around Heathrow would exceed the EU legal limits.

  3. People who will live within the 66dBA Leq contour — that is the area where the daytime noise averages out at 66 decibels over the course of a year.

  4. People living within the 69dBA Leq contour

  5. Schools and hospitals within the 63dBA Leq contour.

Maps of the areas affected are available on BAA’s website.

For further information contact John Stewart on 0207 737 6641 or his new temporary mobile number 07985 944802.