Manchester Airport Group agrees deal with solicitors representing local residents

14.7.2010 (Knutsford Guardian)

by James Wilson

Manchester Airport has agreed a compensation package with residents over the
creation of the second runway.

Homeowners in Mobberley and Knutsford have been saved a lengthy court battle
after the airport and the firm of solicitors acting on its behalf came to an agreement
this week.

More than 330 householders have lodged compensation claims over the airport’s
second runway, which opened in 2002.

A multi-million pound lawsuit – to be heard by the Lands Tribunal – was due to
take place in September but this will now not go ahead.

A spokesman for Hugh James Solicitors, which has been fighting the battle for
the residents, said: "Hugh James Solicitors can confirm that we are working with
Manchester Airport in order to resolve compensation claims of residents in Knutsford
and Mobberley whose property values were affected by the construction of runway

"We have reached agreement and are in the process of making various recommendations
to our clients concerning payments following a complex and lengthy legal process.

"It has taken a lot of time and effort on both sides to reach this position and
we are pleased that local residents will now receive their compensation, without
having to go through a lengthy trial in the Lands Tribunal."

A spokesman for Manchester Airport said it had reached a ‘mutually acceptable

"Manchester Airport is working with Hugh James to settle the vast majority of
local residents’ claims arising from the construction of runway two," he said.

"Working with Hugh James, the solicitors representing over 330 claimants in Knutsford
and Mobberley, we are pleased to have reached a mutually acceptable solution.

"To help to ensure that this is paid swiftly, and avoid further protracted legal
discussions, we have agreed a solution which covers the loss in property value,
interest since the claims were lodged, legal fees and experts costs.

"Since this process began, local residents who could demonstrate an effect on
the value of their property, caused by runway two, have been encouraged to put
evidence forward so that we could consider and settle their claims.

"We are pleased that a number of residents have done this and that settlement
has been possible."

These claims were under the Land Compensation Act of 1973 with the basis of compensation
being the loss in value of a property at a date 12 months after the new development
was brought into use.

Manchester’s second runway opened on February 5, 2001, so the relevant date for
assessing property value was February 5, 2002.

This is not compensation for living near the airport or being affected by aircraft
noise. It is based on any proven change in house prices at the relevant date.

Jeff Gazzard, an airport campaigner and Mobberley resident, said it was good
news for all concerned.

"It should also be good news for everybody who has lived in the area for a good
period of time," he said.

"It has been a long blown-out struggle."

The airport added that the agreement still has to be formally endorsed by the
Lands Tribunal, which may take several weeks and payments could only be made once
the legal process is complete.

What do you think about the agreement? Let us know by calling the newsdesk on
01606 813617 or emailing