UPDATE (Oct 25, 2016): The UK Government has today announced its support for expansion at Heathrow as its preferred option for new airport capacity. We’ve launched a new site area for the local community with easy to access information: Heathrow.com/localcommunity
Heathrow has announced plans to extend its property compensation scheme should an additional runway be built at the airport. In May, the airport announced plans for 25% above market value compensation for 750 homes that would be subject to compulsory purchase.
Having listened to local residents, Heathrow is now proposing to extend this offer to cover homes that will be in close proximity to a new runway but will not be compulsorily purchased.
How is the improved scheme different?
Under the improved scheme, residents living in communities close to a new runway will have the choice to either remain in their home or sell their home at 25% above market value once the new runway has been constructed.
Homeowners in Poyle, Colnbrook, Brands Hill, Harmondsworth, Sipson, Harlington and Cranford Cross will be covered by the improved scheme.
Properties in Longford and parts of Sipson and Harmondsworth are covered by the previously announced compulsory purchase area scheme.
Listening to local resident feedback
The proposal is in response to feedback heard at public consultations between 21st July and 12th October of this year. Local people said they:
welcome the proposal to offer 25% above market value compensation plus legal fees and stamp duty costs on homes that will be compulsorily purchased;
want the airport to recognise that a new runway will have an impact on homeowners close to the new boundary of the extended airport;
are concerned that property prices will be blighted in the areas close to the boundary of the extended airport;
want to avoid a situation where next door neighbours or homeowners on adjacent streets are entitled to different compensation.
Some people in this area will want to remain in their homes if the airport is expanded, others will want the option of moving out of the area.
You said, Heathrow did
In response to this public feedback, Heathrow is:
confirming its intention to offer 25% above market value compensation plus legal fees, plus stamp duty costs for anyone whose home will be compulsorily purchased;
extending this scheme to cover homeowners in close proximity to the new airport boundary whose homes do not need to be compulsorily purchased;
giving people the choice of remaining in their homes or moving out of the area and receiving compensation;
announcing the scheme now and including a 25% above market value premium to avoid blight to property prices and keep the local property market buoyant;
proposing a single, simple and easy-to-understand flat rate of 25% above market value compensation rather than different bands of compensation for different communities;
applying the proposal to homeowners in Poyle, Colnbrook, Brands Hill, Harmondsworth, Sipson, Harlington and Cranford Cross rather than having scheme boundaries that cut across communities.
People also said they want local villages to retain a vibrant local community feel. Where Heathrow purchases a property from a homeowner it will refurbish and sound insulate the property before reselling it on the open market.
This will give those people who want to leave the area the option of doing so but ensure those who remain still live in a functioning community.
The offer is subject to regulatory approval by the CAA. Approximately 3,750 homeowners’ properties would be eligible for compensation under the revised scheme.
Continuing to work with local communities
John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s Chief Executive Officer, said the improved proposal shows how Heathrow is listening to local communities.
“Our proposals for expansion at Heathrow have been developed with input from local communities. We are committed to treating people fairly. People told us that we should extend our offer to local homeowners living close to the airport, and we have listened,” John Holland-Kaye said.
“Now we want to work with local communities to ensure that local people secure the jobs and growth that expansion at Heathrow will bring.”
Heathrow will be issuing its full response to the recent public consultation, including more details on noise and property compensation, in early 2015.
Local community hotline plus Q & A
Heathrow has set up a local community hotline for residents within the adjusted property compensation proposal. If you live in these areas contact 0800 344 844 for more information.
We’ve also published a Q & A on the new proposals which can be found here.