Birmingham Airport runway extension could hit homes

20.4.2008   (UK Airport News)

More than 20 families could be forced from their homes if Birmingham Airport
is granted permission to extend its runway. (The airport’s application to extend
the runway by 405 metres is due to go before Solihull borough planners later this

Some of the people living at the Haven Caravan Park, on Catherine-de-Barnes Lane,
have been on the site for decades, but the airport’s runway plans have cast uncertainty
over their future, and its management say it is up to Solihull council to find
them alternatives.

73-year-old Laurence Boswell, who has managed the Bickenhill site for 40 years,
comes from one of Britain’s largest Romany families and can trace his ancestry
back centuries. He said residents are approaching him on a daily basis to ask
what’s going to happen. Worries range from a rise in noise to the chance that
the site may be shut down altogether.

He said: ‘All the years we’ve been here we have never had grants from the council
or money from the airport. Everything we’ve built, we’ve built ourselves from
the ground up. The airport is too big for me to fight. If we have to move, they
need to find us somewhere else or give us enough money to buy one.‘

A spokesman for Birmingham Airport said: ‘With the proposed runway extension
and potential noise levels, consideration would need to be given to the future
of the Haven Caravan Park. Solihull Council would be responsible for identifying
any alternative location.’

But councillor Jim Ryan has said that it is the airport who should help with
relocation. He said: ‘This is the home of 21 families and they have to be respected.
I’m also worried that the taxpayer will be landed with the bill if the airport
leaves it to the local authority to find a new site. It could cost millions.’

20.04.08 Birmingham Airport runway extension could hit homes