More psychological torture from Heathrow – with its leaflet for local people on compulsory purchase
Heathrow has posted, First Class, a leaflet (Heathrow Community Matters Bulletin, March 2016) to all the homes in the area threatened with compulsory purchase for a runway – and to an unknown number of other homes where the runway would make life virtually un-liveable. This has not caused reassurance to many, but increased anger and resentment. Heathrow will keep people, who have already lived with blight and uncertainty for years, in a state of anxiety and uncertainty for yet longer. Heathrow’s Nigel Milton wrote the leaflet, and uses the most evasive and emollient language he can for the unpleasant reality of people being evicted from their homes, against their will. He says Heathrow has been holding sessions for local residents to discuss “issues associated with Heathrow expansion.” …” the first point at which you will be able to ask Heathrow to buy your house will be after the Government designate their National Policy Statement for expansion at Heathrow… We would expect this to be somewhere between summer 2017 and summer 2018.”….”If people wait until a third runway planning consent is received to sell us their home, they will be eligible for the terms of our offer i.e. unblighted market price plus 25%, stamp duty, legal and moving costs. We currently expect to receive planning consent in 2020.” More stressful waiting …. more anxiety …. more years unable to make any future plans. It is cruel.
More psychological torture from Heathrow Airport Limited
Residents around Heathrow received this item of mail from Heathrow airport on 11th March.
The Heathrow leaflet uses the most bland imaginable language to puss-foot around the issue of compulsory purchase of people’s homes, and their forced eviction, in order to build a 3rd Heathrow runway.
Local residents understand it went to all 783 homes that could be in the 3rd runway footprint – and some more on the perimeter. It is known that a property some 25 metres from the boundary in Harmondsworth received one. The mailings came First Class.
Their arrival has caused a lot of stress among those who continue to live in the highly anxiety-provoking state of uncertainty about their future. This has been going on for years, and it deeply unfair and unkind to those affected.
Nigel Milton (Director of External Affairs, Heathrow Airport) says: “We appreciate that this has been a period of considerable uncertainty for those who live close to the airport and that you may have questions regarding the process. We have been holding a series of one to one “surgery sessions” for local residents who want to discuss issues associated with Heathrow expansion.”
This is remarkably evasive language. It manages to entirely omit any indication of eviction, compulsory purchase, and people being forced out of their homes – and away from the area. Nigel describes these (irritatingly awkward for Heathrow) as “issues associated with Heathrow expansion.” This treatment of residents is causing considerable anger and resentment.
Nigel continues, in his leaflet:
More choice use of language, designed to be as oblique as possible. Instead of actually coming out straight and talking about compulsory purchase of homes, and eviction – Nigel describes the problems as “the impacts of expansion on local people and the environment.”
He goes on to talk about, for those whose houses will be compulsorily purchased (and he managed to actually admit here that their homes will be demolished), how long people will have to wait for any indication of their future.
Nigel says, for those to be evicted:
…” the first point at which you will be able to ask Heathrow to buy your house will be after the Government designate their National Policy Statement for expansion at Heathrow. This means the point at which the Government’s policy of airport expansion would become agreed by Parliament. We would expect this to be somewhere between summer 2017 and summer 2018.”
Then he goes on to say (leaving the situation even more uncertain and worrying for those left in limbo, in continuing blight):
“If people wait until a third runway planning consent is received to sell us their home, they will be eligible for the terms of our offer i.e. unblighted market price plus 25%, stamp duty, legal and moving costs. We currently expect to receive planning consent in 2020.”
For those concerned about the process, Heathrow says they will provide “reasonable” legal and moving costs. But there is no indication of what “reasonable” means. Under the section dealing with valuation, note that if there is disagreement on the value of a house, after two valuations, a 3rd valuer appointed by Heathrow will be used to judge the value. Fair?