On final day of Commission consultation, Heathrow raises extent of its noise insulation offer, if it gets a 3rd runway
As part of its attempt to get acceptance for a 3rd runway, Heathrow has had to raise its offer on noise insulation. On the last day of the Airports Commission consultation, it has made a significantly better offer, saying it “could” (sic) pay around £700 million – which is £450 million more than its previous offer in May 2014. This would cover parts of the 55 Lden noise contour area. The number of people within that contour was 725,500 in 2006 and over 314,000 dwellings. Heathrow says their offer now covers about 160,000 homes, and they have included two new areas, not previously covered by their scheme (no map is published).Heathrow has now raised the quality of its noise insulation offer to match those already used in Europe – its current noise insulation offers are far below these. In its new scheme, Heathrow says homes in designated zones “stand to have” (not “will”) the ” full costs of their noise insulation covered by the airport. In addition, up to £3,000 in noise insulation would be offered to homes further away from the airport.” This would be acoustic double glazing; ceiling over-boarding in bedrooms; loft insulation and ventilation. Many noise affected homes already have double glazing and loft insulation … and still suffer noise. Gardens and parks cannot be insulated. Campaigners said the improved offer was welcome, and should be carried out even if no runway is built, as it illustrates how poor and miserly the insulation schemes have been in the past.
Heathrow responds to calls for world – class noise insulation scheme
2 February, 2015 |(Heathrow press release)
– Meets public challenge to develop noise insulation scheme comparable to other European hub airports including Schiphol, Madrid, Charles de Gaulle and Frankfurt
– New offering shaped by feedback from local public consultation
– Enhanced offer to cover all insulation costs for residents most affected by noise
Heathrow has today [the very last day of the Airports Commission consultation…] unveiled new plans to provide insulation to homes, if the Government gives planning approval for a third runway. The newly proposed scheme would cover a zone based on the 55 decibel noise contour, the preferred measure of noise used by the European Union and the Mayor of London.
This noise insulation offer goes above and beyond UK policy requirements, expands on Heathrow’s previous proposals and is comparable to those offered by other European hub airports. In total, Heathrow estimates that over £700 million could be spent through this insulation package, an increase of over £450 million from that previously offered by Heathrow in its May 2014 submission to the Airports Commission, and an increase of over £610 million from its previous proposals for a third runway. [ Heathrow claims it “already operates a range of compensation schemes with more than 40,000 properties eligible for some form of noise insulation.”]
The scheme is based on two newly designated insulation zones, and residents would be eligible regardless of whether they experience noise under existing flight paths or will be newly affected by noise from a new runway. Under the proposed scheme, homes in the designated zone closest to the airport with higher levels of noise [ Households experiencing greater 60 dB Leq noise levels, (sic) as averaged during a typical 16 hour day (7 am -11pm) of easterly or westerly operations] stand to have the full costs of their noise insulation covered by the airport. In addition, up to £3,000 in noise insulation would be offered to homes further away from the airport.
A third party assessment, free of cost to homeowners, would be made to determine the extent of each home’s needs within the eligible insulation zones. Heathrow’s insulation package could include:
· Acoustic double glazing in windows
· Ceiling overboarding in bedrooms
· Loft insulation and ventilation
In total, over 160,000 homes could be eligible for insulation in areas from Windsor in the west to Richmond in the east. Over 35,000 homes in Hounslow alone would be eligible for full costs of the noise insulation package, with all homes in Heston and Cranford eligible. Similarly, all homes within the towns and villages of Wraysbury, Datchet, Sipson, Harmondsworth, Harlington, Colnbrook, Brands Hill and Stanwell Moor would be covered by the scheme.
The improved noise insulation package follows public consultations held between 21st July and 12th October in 2014, in which people said that:
· The noise contours the airport uses should better reflect the actual noise levels experienced by local people
· A new insulation approach should treat people equally, whether they are already exposed to noise or newly exposed to noise
· The £250 million previously earmarked for noise and property compensation through expansion would not be sufficient
John Holland – Kaye, Chief Executive of Heathrow said:
“We designed the new approach to expanding Heathrow to minimise noise to local residents, but we also need to mitigate the impact on those who are still affected. Today’s announcement does that, and is based on the feedback we have received from local residents over the last few months; it will reduce the impact of noise, and treat local people fairly. Now we want to work with local communities to ensure that the opportunities from expansion – up to 40,000 new skilled jobs at Heathrow, 10,000 apprenticeships, tackling youth unemployment – benefit those who are most affected by expansion.”
This offer is subject to government policy support and regulatory approval by the CAA.
Notes to editors
This zone is for people experiencing average levels of 55 decibels Lden over a 24 hour period. Lden is the preferred European measure of noise, and stands for the level of noise during the day, evening, and night. This measurement includes an additional weighting for noise during the evening and at night when it can be more disturbing. This zone also takes into account those homes who experience noise greater than 57 dB Leq noise levels, as averaged during a typical 16 hour day (7 am -11pm) of easterly or westerly operations.
 Heathrow already operates a range of compensation schemes with more than 40,000 properties eligible for some form of noise insulation.
 Households experiencing greater 60 dB Leq noise levels, as averaged during a typical 16 hour day (7 am -11pm) of easterly or westerly operations.
 The final number and location of these homes would be dependent on the design of routes around an expanded Heathrow and actual level of noise measured.
725,500 living within the 55 Lden contour in 2006
Heathrow’s Noise Action Plan 2011 (Page 5) says there were (2006) over 725,000 people living within the 55 Lden noise contour.
It says there were 314,350 dwellings within the 55 Lden countour in 2006.
Heathrow expansion: More homes eligible for noise insulation if third runway is built
3.2.2015 (Get West London)
By Robert Cumber
Campaigners have welcomed the scheme but say the airport must up its game, even if it doesn’t get a new runway
Heathrow Airport has promised to quadruple the number of homes eligible for noise insulation should it get a third runway, as it nearly tripled the amount of compensation available.
But anti-expansion campaigners called on the airport to make clear what long-suffering residents would be offered should it miss out on a new landing strip.
Heathrow last May proposed to expand its noise insulation scheme by increasing the compensation pot for homes, schools and other buildings under its flight paths from £30 million at present to £250m with a new runway.
On Monday (February 2), it announced that following consultation with local residents it was improving that sum to £700m and extending the offer to some 160,000 homes – including properties as far away as Windsor and Richmond.
Heathrow currently pays for soundproofing, including double glazing and loft insulation, at approximately 40,000 homes.
Under the new scheme, it would be available to all households within the 55 decibel Lden noise contour, with the worst affected getting the full cost paid and others getting up to £3,000 to pay for the work.
The compensation would be offered to people already affected by noise as well as those experiencing it for the first time with a third runway.
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “We designed the new approach to expanding Heathrow to minimise noise to local residents, but we also need to mitigate the impact on those who are still affected.
“Today’s announcement does that, and is based on the feedback we have received from local residents over the last few months; it will reduce the impact of noise, and treat local people fairly.
“Now we want to work with local communities to ensure that the opportunities from expansion – up to 40,000 new skilled jobs at Heathrow, 10,000 apprenticeships, tackling youth unemployment – benefit those who are most affected by expansion.”
Heathrow vs Gatwick
Under the new scheme, more than 35,000 homes in Hounslow alone, including all those in Heston and Cranford, would be eligible for compensation.
The new offer was included in Heathrow’s latest submission to the Airports Commission, which closes its public consultation on Tuesday.
The commission is due to make its final recommendations this summer about whether Heathrow, Gatwick or both should get an extra runway.
The Heathrow anti-expansion campaign group HACAN welcomed the new package, which it said would bring the airport in line with its main European competitors like Schiphol, Madrid, Charles de Gaulle and Frankfurt airports.
But it called on Heathrow to offer a more generous compensation package even if a third runway is ruled out – something the airport has yet to do.
HACAN chairman John Stewart said: “There is no doubt that this is much more generous than anything we have seen before and it brings Heathrow into line with other major European airports.
“But it does show how eager the airport is to get a new runway. It also suggests that residents have been short-changed in the past.
“Residents already living under the flight paths want to know today whether they will be offered improved insulation without a third runway because a new runway, whatever happens, is over 10 years away.”
In December last year, Hounslow Council said the cost of insulating homes within the borough alone should a third runway be built would be £200 million.
In response to the news, Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate said: “Heathrow should follow Gatwick’s lead and offer to pay the council tax of people most affected if it’s serious about compensating people for noise. Heathrow can’t afford to do that of course as it already impacts more people than all the major European airports combined.
“Expand Heathrow and 320,000 new people will be affected by noise – a population the size of Coventry – compared to 18,000 people at Gatwick.”
Heathrow’s improved offer of £700 million for noise compensation, if there was a 3rd runway, wouldn’t help residents in many areas
On the last day of the Airports Commission consultation about its 3 short-listed runway schemes, Heathrow Airport came up with a new, more widespread and more generous offer of compensation against aircraft noise, IF it got a new runway. However, this offer is not to be offered to residents in many affected areas, including Bracknell, Ascot or Wokingham. The £700 million that Heathrow says it would spend on noise insulation etc would only be for homes judged the worst affected by noise – with no homes south of Wraysbury included. The number of homes eligible for offered compensation will depend on the final design of flight paths from an expanded Heathrow, and those are not yet known. Residents in Bracknell and Ascot, who have been incensed by the aircraft noise to which they have been subjected this year, say that even if they were offered compensation it still would not be enough, and it would not solve the problem. Heathrow claims that flight paths and use of airspace in the area has reverted to its pre-trail state, but residents believe it has not. People are now much more aware of aircraft noise, and their tolerance for it has declined – and they know that no amount of money would be enough to keep the level of noise outside the house down, in gardens, parks, playgrounds and streets. Many believe the increased Heathrow offer, and its timing, is merely a PR stunt.