Doubt about the Gatwick scheme to pay off residents affected by noise from 2nd runway
Gatwick has offered, as part of its PR offensive to try to get opinion behind its 2nd runway, to pay £1,000 per year (the council tax on a Band A property) to 4,100 houses worst affected by noise, if it gets its runway. This is a very paltry sum compared to the negative impacts of the noise and disruption that would be caused. A local resident commented on the plan: “This is just a publicity stunt to try to get Crawley residents on board for a new runway. ….It sounds generous until you look at who gets it and how much we would lose….Even if we got the grant, it would take 150 years for the grant to cover the loss of value of our house. …. Gatwick Airport is trying to kid us that a new runway means lots of jobs for Crawley residents – but the jobs would attract incomers from the UK and the EU who would need new houses in an area that is desperately short of affordable homes…..We existing residents would see our carefully planned country town double in size to become a sprawling city spreading over green countryside….. I hope nobody will be fooled by Gatwick’s offer or by their promises of a golden future for Crawley.”
HOUSEHOLDS most affected by noise from a second runway at Gatwick would receive £1,000 a year in compensation if the airport is picked for expansion.Gatwick Airport has pledged to contribute the money towards the annual council tax bills of up to 4,100 homes if and when a second runway becomes operational.
Homes in parts of Ifield, Langley Green and Copthorne, most of Tinsley Green and all of Lowfield Heath, would be eligible to receive the money.
The compensation is the equivalent to the annual council tax charge on a Band A property.
Stewart Wingate, CEO at Gatwick Airport, said: “Expansion at Gatwick would, without doubt, deliver many upsides for our local community in terms of jobs and investment.
“But we must also recognise the negative noise impacts on local people from more flights.
“Gatwick’s location obviously means that comparatively fewer people would be affected by a new runway (compared to Heathrow).
“However, I believe we must do more to help those that would be affected.”
However, the as-yet-unbuilt 1,900 homes in Forge Wood, Crawley’s 14th neighbourhood north of Pound Hill, will not be included within the scheme, as it is assumed anyone moving there will be fully aware of Gatwick’s intentions.
For the same reason, compensation will also not be available to residents who move into the affected area after Gatwick applies for planning permission to build a second runway.
This approval would be sought if the airport is picked by the Airports Commission as its choice for a new runway and the decision backed by the goverment.
Gatwick bosses have pointed to Civil Aviation Authority figures which show 3,650 people living in 1,600 homes around the airport are affected by aircraft noise today.
This is in comparison to Heathrow where almost 240,000 people living in 100,000 homes are impacted.
However, the compensation scheme has been called a “publicity stunt” by one critic.
Peter Jordan, of the Ifield Village Conservation Area Advisory Committee, said: “My wife and I live in the Ifield Village Conservation Area, 500 yards from where jets would climb out of Gatwick from the proposed new runway.
“In spite of that, we are just outside the area covered by Gatwick’s offer of council tax repayments.
“This is just a publicity stunt to try to get Crawley residents on board for a new runway.
“It sounds generous until you look at who gets it and how much we would lose.
“Even if we got the grant, it would take 150 years for the grant to cover the loss of value of our house.”
Mr Jordan believes there isn’t a need for a new runway.
He added: “Gatwick Airport is trying to kid us that a new runway means lots of jobs for Crawley residents – but the jobs would attract incomers from the UK and the EU who would need new houses in an area that is desperately short of affordable homes.
“We existing residents would see our carefully planned country town double in size to become a sprawling city spreading over green countryside.
“I hope nobody will be fooled by Gatwick’s offer or by their promises of a golden future for Crawley.”
An airport spokeswoman said the council tax offer would be in addition to another incentive where certain affected homeowners can apply for up to £3,000 towards the cost of double glazing and loft insulation.
Gatwick hopes noise compensation pledge will help it win battle for a new runway
March 28, 2014
As competition hots up to persuade the Airports Commission, and ultimately Parliament, on their own cases for building a new runway, Gatwick and Heathrow have both stressed the importance of dealing with the aircraft noise issue, or at least hoping people believe they are dealing with it. Gatwick has committed to pay annual compensation of around £1,000 to local households most affected by aircraft noise should it receive approval for a 2nd runway. Heathrow, meanwhile, has pointed to a [dubious] survey it commissioned from Populus that aircraft noise is only the 7th most important aspect of a London airport for Londoners. The Gatwick scheme would only pay up when a new runway starts to be used, and might affect around 4,100 households inside the 57 db(A) Leq noise contour. The compensation would not be paid to new residents choosing to relocate to the area once the runway is built. Earlier Gatwick announced plans to offer hundreds of local homes up to £3,000 towards double glazing and loft insulation to mitigate aircraft noise. This level of payment if offered at Heathrow would be vastly more expensive, by several orders of magnitude.
Gatwick offers to pay households for noise of 2nd runway – dismissed by opponents as a “very small bribe”
March 10, 2014
Gatwick airport is on a PR and charm offensive to try to get support for a 2nd runway. This has been somewhat upset over the past two weeks by the impact on the village of Warnham of an unannounced flight path trial. Now Gatwick airport may have been rushed into making the offer of £1,000 per year to “all households most affected” by noise from a 2nd runway. The airport says would be equivalent to Band A Council Tax (currently £1000). Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate said the cash would help negate some of the impact. The airport estimate that 4,100 households would qualify for the money by 2040, using the discredited 57 decibel contour. In reality, the 57dB contour does not accurately reflect the areas where noise is annoying or causes disturbance – even the 54dB contour, as used in Europe, is an inaccurate measure. Many thousands more people – perhaps 48,000 – would need to be compensated if the 54dB contour was used. The £1,000 is a derisory figure, not even slightly compensating for loss of house value, or for loss of local amenity and quality of life. This is a very small bribe. Click here to view full story…