Queen could get £ millions to soundproof Windsor Castle from noise hotspot due to a 3rd Heathrow runway

Windsor Castle would suffer increased noise from a 3rd Heathrow runway and the Queen could be given £ millions to soundproof the 900-year-old landmark, according to Whitehall sources.  The Queen could be the single biggest beneficiary of a compensation scheme aimed at mitigating the noise from a new runway.  Heathrow Airport has agreed to pay £700 million towards a £1 billion compensation scheme to provide nearby residents with soundproofing. An official said: “…if they do need to insulate the Windsor’s against noise it will cost a fortune — potentially millions….They will end up spending more on compensation to the Queen than they spent in the past 10 years on noise compensation.” And the taxpayer may have to foot much of the bill. A report by the DfT showed that Windsor Castle sits in a potential ‘island of noise’ which would be created by the 3rd runway. There would be an intersection of flight paths near Windsor, causing an extra noisy “hotspot” in the area. Heathrow’s noise compensation scheme would pay for double glazing, loft insulation and acoustic boarding, for homes near the airport and under flight paths. Heathrow said more than 160,000 households could be eligible for noise insulation “including in Windsor”.
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Queen could get millions to soundproof Windsor Castle from third runway

Windsor Castle would suffer increased noise from a third runway and the Queen could be given millions to soundproof the 900-year-old landmark, according to Whitehall sources

By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor (Telegraph)

12 July 2015

The Queen could be the single biggest beneficiary of a compensation scheme aimed at mitigating the effects of a third runway, it has emerged.

Heathrow Airport has agreed to pay £700 million towards a £1 billion compensation scheme which to provide nearby residents with soundproofing. [Details of the Heathrow scheme offer – not legally binding. Heathrow said in Feb 2015 : “This offer is subject to government policy support and regulatory approval by the CAA.”].

But as Windsor Castle is likely to be affected by increased noise the Royal Family could qualify for millions, Whitehall sources claim.

“Windsor is comparable to parliament, potentially bigger, and if they do need to insulate the Windsor’s against noise it will cost a fortune — potentially millions,” an official told The Sunday Times.

“They will end up spending more on compensation to the Queen than they spent in the past 10 years on noise compensation. Planes can fly pretty low over Windsor.”

A report by the Department of Transport showed that Windsor Castle sits in a potential ‘island of noise’ which would be created by the third runway.

Earlier this month an independent commission backed plans for expansion at Heathrow and David Cameron is now considering whether to give the green light to the scheme.
The prime minister is under pressure from business leaders to approve the plan but is battling opposition from London mayor Boris Johnson and Richmond MP Zac Goldsmith.
The compensation scheme, which his designed to pay for double glazing, loft insulation and acoustic boarding, will be provided for residents who live near the airport and those under flight paths.

Windsor Castle, the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world, attracts 1.1 million visitors each year, who between them spend more than £17 million, which is used by the Royal Collection Trust charity for the upkeep of the royal palaces and their contents.
However soundproofing the castle could prove tricky and costly. The castle has around 1,000 rooms and its oldest glazed window dates back to approximately 1236. It is thought to have been a wedding gift from King Henry III to his wife Eleanor of Provence.

Heathrow said more than 160,000 households could be eligible for noise insulation “including in Windsor”.

“Residents would be eligible regardless of whether they experience noise under existing flight paths or will be newly affected by noise from a new runway,” the spokesman said.

A palace spokesman said: “The royal household was not consulted regarding the Davies commission [on airport expansion], and therefore has offered no view on it.

“The royal household would not speculate on any matter relating to a proposed third runway before any formal decision has been taken by those responsible for this.”
A commission led by Sir Howard Davies concluded that a third runway was the ‘best answer’ to solving Britain’s aviation capacity crisis but said it should only be built it accompanied by strict meaures on noise and air pollution.

These included a ban on all flights between 11.30pm and 6.00am and a wide compensation scheme.

The commission also recommended last week that a congestion charge at Heathrow “should” be considered as part of the mitigating measures .

Last week Heathrow began laying the groundwork for the third runway even though the Government has not officially sanctioned the £17.6bn project.

John Holland-Kaye, the chief executive of the West London hub, announced that the airport will immediately begin drawing up a strategy to secure materials and services. The airport is hoping to begin building in 2020.

A final decision is expected at the end of the year.

Windsor Castle, the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world, attracts 1.1 million visitors each year, who between them spend more than £17 million, which is used by the Royal Collection Trust charity for the upkeep of the royal palaces and their contents.
A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: ‘We understand concerns local communities have about noise from aircraft.

‘That is why we will carefully examine all of the evidence provided by the Airports Commission, including environmental mitigation measures, and we will work closely with industry and communities on how best to mitigate the impact of noise when considering the options for expansion.

‘The Airports Commission has made clear it expects the highest standards on noise performance and has made further specific recommendations to strengthen the proposals already made by Heathrow.’

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/theroyalfamily/11734652/Queen-could-get-millions-to-soundproof-Windsor-Castle-from-third-runway.html

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Queen in line for jet noise millions

By Marie Woolf, Whitehall Editor (Sunday Times)
12.7.2015
Some extracts ….

THE Queen could qualify for “millions” of pounds of compensation to noiseproof Windsor Castle if a third runway at Heathrow goes ahead. The monarch — who spends most weekends at Windsor — could be the single biggest beneficiary of a £700m compensation scheme aimed at mitigating the effects of noise from a third runway, with extra money provided by the government.

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Heathrow has promised to invest £700m in noise insulation, as part of a £1bn compensation scheme if a third runway goes ahead. Although much of the money is expected to be spent on residents near the airport, properties under the flight paths will also qualify, with those where the noise is greatest expected to gain the most to soundproof their homes. …….

A spokesman added that “the final number and location would be dependent on the design of routes . . . and the actual level of the noise measured”. Whitehall sources said the taxpayer could end up topping up the noiseproofing of the Queen’s home because the castle was so huge.

The Department for Transport modelled the impact of a third runway in August 2006, including the effect on noise. The government report, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, expressed surprise at the noise impact on Windsor.

“The shape of the noise contour looked odd,” the analysis said, “with a potential noise ‘hot spot’ near Windsor where the southern departures crossed over the path of the northern, which produced an island of noise near Windsor (or possibly just to the west).”

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Any upgrade of Windsor would be subject to restrictions, and any double glazing or noiseproofing would have to be formally approved and carried out in materials in keeping with the building’s historic nature. Refurbishment after the 1992 fire cost £36.5m and took five years.

Full article at:

http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/article1580350.ece

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A comment:  “And what about other historic buildings in Middlesex, Bucks & Berks?”

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See earlier:

 

Heathrow’s improved offer of £700 million for noise compensation, if there was a 3rd runway, wouldn’t help residents in many areas

On the last day of the Airports Commission consultation about its 3 short-listed runway schemes, Heathrow Airport came up with a new, more widespread and more generous offer of compensation against aircraft noise, IF it got a new runway. However, this offer is not to be offered to residents in many affected areas, including Bracknell, Ascot or Wokingham. The £700 million that Heathrow says it would spend on noise insulation etc would only be for homes judged the worst affected by noise – with no homes south of Wraysbury included. The number of homes eligible for offered compensation will depend on the final design of flight paths from an expanded Heathrow, and those are not yet known. Residents in Bracknell and Ascot, who have been incensed by the aircraft noise to which they have been subjected this year, say that even if they were offered compensation it still would not be enough, and it would not solve the problem. Heathrow claims that flight paths and use of airspace in the area has reverted to its pre-trail state, but residents believe it has not. People are now much more aware of aircraft noise, and their tolerance for it has declined – and they know that no amount of money would be enough to keep the level of noise outside the house down, in gardens, parks, playgrounds and streets. Many believe the increased Heathrow offer, and its timing, is merely a PR stunt. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/02/heathrows-improved-offer-of-700-million-for-noise-compensation-if-there-was-a-3rd-runway-wouldnt-help-residents-in-many-areas/

 

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See also

On final day of Commission consultation, Heathrow raises extent of its noise insulation offer, if it gets a 3rd runway

As part of its attempt to get acceptance for a 3rd runway, Heathrow has had to raise its offer on noise insulation. On the last day of the Airports Commission consultation, it has made a significantly better offer, saying it “could” (sic) pay around £700 million – which is £450 million more than its previous offer in May 2014. This would cover parts of the 55 Lden noise contour area. The number of people within that contour was725,500 in 2006  and over 314,000 dwellings. Heathrow says their offer now covers about 160,000 homes, and they have included two new areas, not previously covered by their scheme (no map is published).Heathrow has now raised the quality of its noise insulation offer to match those already used in Europe – its current noise insulation offers are far below these. In its new scheme, Heathrow says homes in designated zones “stand to have” (not “will”) 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.” This would be acoustic double glazing; ceiling over-boarding in bedrooms; loft insulation and ventilation. Many noise affected homes already have double glazing and loft insulation … and still suffer noise. Gardens and parks cannot be insulated.  Campaigners said the improved offer was welcome, and should be carried out even if no runway is built, as it illustrates how poor and miserly the insulation schemes have been in the past.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/02/25000/

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