BAA to start buying up Sipson homes in runway demolition area

20.10.2009   (NoTRAG)

BAA has sent letters to all residents in the area that would be demolished for
a third runway to say that the company will buy properties ahead of announcing
their intention to submit planning permission.

This action has been taken following pressure on BAA to do something to address
the problem of residents who are unable to sell their homes due to the third runway
threat but whose personal circumstances mean they have a desperate need to move.

While today’s news may initially be a relief to some residents who have tried
unsuccessfully to move, there is considerable concern that BAA has chosen to start
buying homes at a time when a third runway has never seemed more unlikely.

A possible surge in house sales and the arrival of large numbers of short-term
tenants could have a very negative impact on local communities. Residents who
have no intention of moving may panic and contemplate leaving their home rather
than see the area take a downturn.

It should be remembered that BAA has NOT triggered the start of the Property Market Support Bond,*    it has simply decided to start buying homes as “an act of goodwill”.

BAA is not known for its goodwill, or its honesty, when it comes to Heathrow

NoTRAG urges residents NOT to rush into any agreement with BAA.

Residents in the bond area are being invited to a public meeting by John McDonnell
MP and BAA is holding small sessions (by appointment) at the Heathrow Academy
to answer questions. Hillingdon Legal Centre will also be holding legal meetings
for those eligible for the property bond scheme.

Sipson and Harmondsworth residents in the scheme are being given details by letter
so that the meetings can address their specific property concerns rather than
having a general meeting to discuss the third runway.


*   Property Market Support Bond

The Government has asked BAA Heathrow to safeguard an area for a potential third
runway. This is the area covered by the Property Market Support Bond.  
Full details of the scheme are given in the scheme booklet. This has been sent
to all properties in the affected area.

Download Property Market Support Bond booklet  (1,352KB PDF)


see also

John McDonnell MP’s website:

BAA Announces Offer to Purchase Properties Under Threat of 3rd Runway

This morning (Tuesday 20th October) BAA has written to residents under threat
of the 3rd runway offering to buy properties within the area designated under
its Property Market Support Bond scheme. (a copy of the letter is below).

This offer is open to residents for the next 12 months.

I have been pressing BAA for months to implement the Bond Scheme to assist residents
who are trapped in unsuitable accommodation and unable to sell their properties
on the open market.   Two weeks ago I met representatives from BAA with Rob Fodder,
an example of a local resident unable to sell his property and trapped with his
growing family in overcrowded conditions.  

Last week I also tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament calling for action
to resolve this issue.   I welcome BAA’s announcement because it will help local
families who are suffering from being trapped in unsuitable accommodation because
they cannot sell.

Over the next week I am convening a public meeting for local residents to discuss
the implications of this decision.  In addition over the coming weeks we will
be convening via the local law centre a series of smaller seminars with lawyers
to provide advice to local residents on the details of the scheme and the process
from hereon.

I believe that the 3rd runway will never be built but before we can kill off
this runway threat once and for all we need to ensure that families affected by
blight are properly protected.   I will write to local residents in the villages
and put all the details of these events on this website, inform Hayes FM and the
local press.


 BAA’s Letter to Residents in Heathrow Villages

20 th October 2009

Dear neighbour

Property Market Support Bond Scheme – BAA to offer to buy properties

with Bonds from 20th October 2009

I am writing to tell you some important news about the Property Market Support
Bond (PMSB) scheme as your property falls within the boundary for the scheme.
We are unable to trigger the PMSB scheme at this time, but as an act of goodwill
BAA is today offering to buy properties with Bonds obtained under the PMSB scheme
subject to the eligibility criteria being met. We are taking this step to reduce
the uncertainty faced by residents wishing to sell their property. Others will
not want to sell their homes at this time and I would like to emphasise that no-one
is required to sell to BAA at this stage.

BAA continues to believe that a third runway is both necessary and justified,
though we recognise that the controversy around the issue continues. Since the
Government’s announcement in January of its support for a third runway, we have
been carrying out the preparatory work needed before we can announce our intention
to apply for planning permission.

Working through the Government’s new planning structure has added to an already
complicated process.   The result is that we do not yet know exactly when we will
submit our planning application. In formal terms, this means we are still unable
to say when we might announce our intention to apply for planning permission,
which is the trigger for the PMSB scheme.

The offer to purchase properties will be open to residents for an initial period
of 12 months from today, 20 October 2009 (i.e. up to 20 October 2010). Home-owners
with a Property Market Support Bond can ask BAA to purchase their home under the
same terms and conditions as the PMSB scheme, at a price which is index-linked
to June 2002 property prices. BAA will also reimburse property owners for their
removal costs, legal

costs and stamp duty equivalent to the value of their property when they sell
to BAA.   The additional 10 per cent home-loss payment would only be made if planning
permission were granted for a third runway.

For those residents who do not yet have a Property Market Support Bond, you can
still apply for one and request BAA to purchase your property during this period
(i.e. up until 20 October 2010). If you are a Bond holder and interested in taking
up this offer, please

fill in the attached form and return it us at the address given.   If you do not
have a Bond and would like one or have any questions and would like to talk to
someone, please contact the team on 0208 745 4929.

Yours faithfully

Colin Matthews         Chief Executive, BAA


see also
BBC       20.10.2009

BAA to buy 700 homes near runway

Airport operator BAA has agreed to buy 700 homes under threat from the new third
runway at Heathrow Airport.

Proposals for the runway have made it difficult for residents in the area to
sell their properties.

BAA had refused to commit to buying the homes but has now offered to purchase
properties within the area in its Property Market Support Bond scheme.

The government has agreed to a third runway but the Conservatives and Lib Dems
are fighting the plans.

‘Properly protected’

BAA said the step was being taken “to reduce the uncertainty faced by residents
wishing to sell their property (subject to eligibility)”.

The airport operator said it would also fund legal and removal costs and stamp
duty equivalent to the value of properties at the time they are sold to BAA.

The offer is open to residents of 700 properties – including homes in the village
of Sipson and part of neighbouring Harmondsworth – for the next 12 months.

Labour MP John McDonnell, who has been campaigning on behalf of residents, welcomed
BAA’s announcement, saying: “BAA has finally realised what a PR disaster this
has been in trapping the lives of local residents.



“I believe that the third runway will never be built but before we can kill off
this runway threat once and for all we need to ensure that families affected by
(the) blight are properly protected,” he added.

Harmondsworth resident Gary Rudland welcomed the decision.

He said: “I have taken up the plan because I feel, like some of the neighbours
feel, that the area is now blighted.

“It’s a guaranteed offer, it makes you a cash buyer for your next property and
it enables you to escape.”

But fellow resident Geraldine Nicholson said there was “real fear” that the areas
would become “ghost villages” if everybody took up BAA’s offer.

She said: “The fight against the third runway is not going to stop here.

“There are lots of options at the moment and what I would say to people is, ‘If
you had no intention of going, stay put.'”

If all goes according to the government’s plan, construction on Heathrow’s third
runway will start in 2015.