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Southend Airport Compensation Row Takes Off

Southend Airport Compensation Row Rumbles On

More than 1,200 householders are trying to claim compensation from Southend Airport.

The residents believe an expansion of the airport site might have reduced property prices. To prove this, people in the area have begun discussions with surveyors, who are backing their campaign for redress.

Jonathan Carrington, the owner of a surveyor, told the local Echo, "I think they are going to resist the claims, but it's difficult to say at this stage. We're just trying to prove our case. We didn't expect them to bow down and pay up straight away."

Residents argue that noise, vibration, dust, smell, light, fumes and pollution has reduced the average price of houses in the area, with some reports claiming that the rate paid by buyers in the area down 15 per cent since an expansion at the transport hub.

It has been predicted that if Southend Airport admits fault under the Land Compensation Act, householder could pocket more than £10,000 each, which would cost the airport millions.

David Lister, operations director at the site, said: "People who believe they are impacted by the development of Southend Airport were entitled to make a claim one year from when the development was finished."

If no deal is reached within six years, which is not uncommon in these types of cases, a tribunal will decide the result and will either order the residents to stand down, or make the airport pay compensation in a timely fashion.

Similar cases have been reported near to Heathrow Airport, which has a residential protection scheme that aims to help people affected by excess noise and problems surrounding vortices created by passing planes.

The airport has given thousands of homes in the area either free or subsidised insulation, but householders near to the transport hub still claim an increase in traffic over recent years has affected their quality of life.

This row has led London mayor Boris Johnson to veto any further expansions at Heathrow and the Conservative politician instead wants to build a new airport on the Thames Estuary; dubbed Boris Island.

By Chris Stevenson