FAQs

Compensation and mitigation

Property compensation – Compulsory acquisition

What does compulsory acquisition mean?

Compulsory acquisition (often referred to as compulsory purchase) is the process whereby a public authority or other person is given the legal power to purchase land for a particular purpose, without the agreement of the property owner. Where land is purchased compulsorily, the law requires the property owner to be fairly compensated.

We will need to acquire land which is currently used for residential, business and agricultural purposes in order to construct the third runway project. This area of land, the Compulsory Purchase Zone, is shown on the map and can be found here.

How many homes will have to be compulsorily acquired?

We estimate that approximately 750 properties in Longford and parts of Harmondsworth and Sipson will need to be acquired to enable the third runway project to be constructed. The majority of which are peoples’ homes but which will include some local businesses as well.

How will you compensate local businesses?

Small businesses within the compulsory acquisition zone with a rateable value less than £34,800, would be eligible for the same terms as the offer we have set out for homeowners in the compulsory acquisition zone. This includes:

  • the unaffected market value of the property, plus
  • a business loss payment being 25% of the unaffected market value, plus
  • stamp duty costs for purchase of a replacement premises at an equivalent value, plus
  • reasonable legal fees and moving costs.

For larger businesses with a rateable value greater than £34,800, compensation will be provided in accordance with statutory requirements. We will also be contacting each business over the coming months to hold individual meetings and we are looking at measures that we might be able to put in place to assist with business relocation. In the meantime, you can speak to a community relations team on 0800 307 7996 if you have any further questions regarding this.

How do I find out if my home will be affected by the construction of the runway?

We run a dedicated Community Relations hotline (0800 307 7996) from Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm. It is staffed by members of our Community Relations team and you can ring to ask questions about any aspects of Heathrow expansion, including impacts on property. A member of our team will be able to answer specific questions about your property, based on the information you are able to provide. If we are unable to help over the phone, or if your case needs to be looked into further, we will arrange one-to-one appointments at the Compass Centre, Nelson Road, Heathrow, TW6 2GW.

When will Heathrow start buying properties within the Compulsory Purchase Zone?

We do not currently intend to purchase properties ahead of development consent being granted for the project.

How will homeowners within the Compulsory Purchase Zone be compensated?

Homeowners living in the properties that Heathrow will need to purchase to build the runway will be offered:

  • the unaffected market value of the property, plus
  • a home loss payment being 25% of the unaffected market value, plus
  • stamp duty costs for purchase of a replacement home at an equivalent value, plus
  • reasonable legal fees and moving costs.

The ‘unaffected market value’ means the property’s market value ignoring any adverse effect from the third runway proposals.

So, for example with a £250,000 property, the homeowner would receive £312,500, plus £2,500 stamp duty costs and their reasonable legal fees and moving costs.

Given the economic regulation of airport operators, this offer is subject to approval by the Civil Aviation Authority.

What does an ‘unaffected market value’ mean and who will do the valuation on behalf of Heathrow?

The ‘unaffected market value’ means the property’s market value ignoring any adverse effect from the third runway proposals. Each property would be valued by two independent Royal Institution of Chartered surveyors, one appointed by Heathrow and one appointed by the homeowner. The average of these two valuations would then become the offer price. If these differ by more than 10%, a third valuer would be appointed and the offer price will be the average of the closest two valuations.

What date have you assumed as representing an ‘unaffected’ market price?

Each property will be valued individually to establish its unaffected market price. This process will look at whether there are longer term effects from previous third runway proposals, as well as those arising from the current proposal.

Who is eligible for this offer?

If you are the owner-occupier of a home or small business premises within the Compulsory Purchase Zone which you bought or inherited on or before 20 December 2013 (being the date the Airports Commission short-listed our northwest runway scheme), then you will be eligible for the offer.

If you are the owner-occupier of a home or small business premises within the Compulsory Purchase Zone which you bought or inherited after 20 December 2013, then you will also be eligible for the offer unless the previous owner would not have been eligible (such as a social housing landlord or a private landlord who does not qualify). Home and small business owners who are not eligible for the enhanced compensation offer will still be entitled to compensation in accordance with the statutory compensation code.

To check eligibility and more information, you can contact the community relations team.

Are landlords eligible for the offer?

Social housing landlords (e.g. local authorities and housing associations) will not be eligible.

A private landlord will not be eligible for the enhanced offer unless the property is the only one that they own and they lived there for at least six months before renting it out.  This is to ensure that ‘reluctant landlords’ who were forced to rent out their property (for example because of financial hardship) are eligible for the offer.

Anyone (including landlords) who buys a property from an eligible home owner after 20 December 2013 and before the scheme closes will receive the 25% home loss payment if they subsequently sell the property to us before the scheme closes.

Wider property zone

What will Heathrow do for those who live near the site of the expanded airport but whose homes don’t fall within the Compulsory Acquisition Zone?

We recognise the impact that a new runway will have on homeowners close to the new boundary of the expanded airport. We have therefore proposed to extend our compensation offer to owner-occupiers of homes located in a wider area, the Wider Property Offer (WPO) Zone. The map of the WPO can be found here.

Homeowners within this WPO Zone will be offered:

  • the unaffected market value of the property; plus
  • a home loss payment being 25% of the unaffected market value; plus
  • stamp duty costs for purchase of a replacement home at an equivalent value; plus
  • reasonable legal fees and moving costs.

The wider property offer would cover approximately 3,750 homes in the towns of Poyle, Colnbrook, Brands Hill, Harmondsworth, Sipson, Harlington and Cranford Cross.

The WPO scheme will open after planning consent has been granted for the third runway project and construction of the project begins. It would remain open until a year after the new runway has begun operating so that local people have as long as possible to decide whether they wish to move away. The scheme would then be closed and no further purchases considered under it.

Residents in this area would also be eligible for noise mitigation – see section below.

Given the economic regulation of airport operators, this scheme is subject to approval by the Civil Aviation Authority.

What does an ‘unaffected market value’ mean and who will do the valuation on behalf of Heathrow?

The ‘unaffected market value’ means the property’s market value ignoring any adverse effect from the third runway proposals. Each property would be valued by two independent Royal Institution of Chartered surveyors, one appointed by Heathrow and one appointed by the homeowner. The average of these two valuations would then become the offer price. If these differ by more than 10%, a third valuer would be appointed and the offer price will be the average of the closest two valuations.

What date have you assumed as representing an ‘unaffected’ market price?

Each property will be valued individually to establish its unaffected market price. This process will look at whether there are longer term effects from previous third runway proposals, as well as those arising from the current proposal.

How do I find out if my home will be affected by the construction of the runway?

We run a dedicated Community Relations hotline (0800 307 7996) from Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm. It is staffed by members of our Community Relations team and you can ring to ask questions about any aspects of Heathrow expansion, including impacts on property. A member of our team will be able to answer specific questions about your property, based on the information you are able to provide. If we are unable to help over the phone, or if your case needs to be looked into further, we will arrange one-to-one appointments at the Compass Centre, Nelson Road, Heathrow, TW6 2GW.

Who is eligible for compensation in the WPO Zone?

Most owner-occupiers of homes within the WPO Zone will be eligible for the offer. We estimate that there are approximately 3,750 properties within this zone. This includes homes within the following villages Poyle, Colnbrook, Brans Hill, Harlington, Cranford Cross and parts of Harmondswoth and Sipson.

What are you going to do with these properties that people sell to you?

Initially, we intend to refurbish and appropriately sound insulate all the homes and then let them out. Subsequently, it is likely that we would re-sell the bulk of the properties, but this would need to happen gradually over an extended period so as not to distort the local housing market.

 

Noise mitigation

How will you compensate people affected by new flight paths?

We have set out two schemes to mitigate and compensate those people most impacted by aircraft noise:

The Wider Property Offer Scheme – we have proposed a scheme for homeowners living in very close proximity to the expanded airport, who will have the choice to either remain in their home or sell to us. More details can be found here (link to Property Compensation page).

Noise mitigation – we have set out plans for a £700m noise insulation scheme which would include over 160,000 homes. The scheme proposes two zones: an ‘outer zone’ extending to the boundary of the noise contour known as the ‘55 decibel Lden’ (or the single mode easterly and westerly 16 hour 57dB LAeq, whichever is the largest), and an ‘inner zone’ based on the 60 decibel LAeq (16 hour) single mode easterly and westerly contours. The 55dB Lden is the preferred measure of noise used by the European Union and the Mayor of London.

Residents would be eligible regardless of whether they experience noise under existing flight paths or would be newly affected by noise from the new runway.

Under the proposed scheme, homes in the designated zone closest to the airport with higher levels of noise (the inner zone) would have the full costs of their noise insulation covered by the airport. In addition, up to £3,000 in noise insulation would be offered to homes further away from the airport (the outer zone).

The final boundary of the scheme will be dependent on the design of flight paths around an expanded airport. However, all homes within the towns and villages of Wraysbury,Datchet, Sipson, Harmondsworth, Harlington, Colnbrook, Brands Hill and Stanwell Moor would be covered by the scheme.

We would start insulating properties at least one year before operations on the new runway begin. This may be brought forward if we are granted consent to release additional air traffic movements before a third runway opens.

As with our property compensation schemes, the noise mitigation scheme will be consulted upon as part of our application for development consent.

 

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