BAA agrees finally to sell back the 279 houses it has been hanging onto at Stansted. It has also lost its appeal against sale of the airport
BAA has finally agreed to sell back all the 279 houses around that airport that it bought, when hoping to build a second runway. Most were bought around 8 years ago, but some as much as 30 years ago. But there is no timescale yet for the sales. This is a major shift in the company’s position; in March 2011, Mr Matthews declared that just some of the BAA-owned houses around the airport would be sold, whilst those which might one day be needed for a 2nd runway would be retained. However, BAA is still refusing to sell back the houses it owns around Heathrow on the grounds that they might one day be needed to make way for a 3rd runway there. Stop Stansted Expansion welcomed the news, which is long overdue, and will help remove the blight and uncertainty which has overshadowed the community for far too long.
ANOTHER STANSTED LANDMARK: BAA COMMITS TO SELLING BACK HOUSES
31.1.2012 (Stop Stansted Expansion)
Twenty months after withdrawing its planning application for a 2nd runway at Stansted Airport, BAA Chief Executive Colin Matthews has finally agreed that the company will sell back the entirety of its property portfolio around the airport, a total of 279 houses. This follows sustained pressure from Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) and local parish councils.
The commitment by BAA’s Chief Executive to sell all the houses it owns around Stansted Airport is a major shift in the company’s position. In March 2011, Mr Matthews declared that just some of the BAA-owned houses around the airport would be sold, whilst those which might one day be needed for a second runway would be retained.
It is also noteworthy that BAA is refusing to sell back the houses it owns around Heathrow on the grounds that they might one day be needed to make way for a third runway at Heathrow.
Most of the BAA-owned houses around Stansted were acquired over the past eight years in connection with its now-aborted plans for a second runway but some have been owned by BAA for over 30 years, having been acquired in connection with earlier attempts to expand the airport.
SSE Chairman Peter Sanders commented: “This is a landmark decision and very welcome.. The sales process will of course need to be handled sensitively to protect the position of those tenants who may not be able to buy the homes they currently rent, and a few of those tenants have rented from BAA for many years.”
Peter Sanders continued: “It would be premature to view this as a sign that BAA has given up all hope of ever building a second runway at Stansted. But it is clearly a move in the right direction and we hope the Government will take note, especially since the Government is currently examining options for increasing London’s airport capacity.”
Peter Sanders concluded: “BAA must now turn this promise into action within a reasonable timescale. No-one wants to flood the market but do now expect to see a steady flow of these BAA-owned houses being put on the market at sensible prices.”
The BAA commitment to sell the entirety of its property portfolio around Stansted Airport is contained in a letter from Colin Matthews to the Chairman of Stansted Airport Consultative Committee dated 5 January 2012. A copy of this letter is at http://www.stopstanstedexpansion.com/baa_houses.html.
See also www.stopstanstedexpansion.com
See also Financial Times, 1.2.2012
BAA signals end to Stansted runway hopes
that says BAA has signalled it has abandoned its hopes of building a second runway at Stansted airport after its chief executive committed the company to selling 280 homes it owns in the area. And Stansted said the sales process had been in place since May 2010, although only about 20 properties had been sold. The company said it had spent about £108m on the acquisitions since 2004.
Stansted sale: BAA loses appeal against ruling
Date added: February 1, 2012
BAA has lost its appeal against a ruling by the Competition that it must sell Stansted airport. The CC first ruled 3 years ago that BAA’s dominance in London and Scotland meant it must sell Gatwick, Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh airports. BAA continued to fight the Stansted decision. Its appeal has now been dismissed by the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal, a judicial body whose panel is made up of judges and industry experts. BAA had argued that Stansted served a different market from Heathrow, and are used by different airlines, so they argued it was not anti-competitive for it to operate both airports. BAA does not want to have to sell Stansted in such an unfavourable economic climate.
see earlier articles about the Stansted BAA houses issue:
BRIEFING: GIVE US BACK OUR COMMUNITY, BAA
BAA refuses to sell homes it bought in Sipson
Stansted buys ‘runway risk’ homes
29th September 2009
BAA has now bought all but 6 properties within the proposed boundary for a 2nd
runway. Homes threatened by noise blight are also being purchased giving BAA ownership
of about 270 properties, bringing the BAA total spend to £90 million. Six home
owners have refused to sell. A local resident commented that there is a sense
of impermanence, and a feeling of creeping blight building up, with signs of properties
becoming slightly unkempt. (BBC) Click here to view full story…