London Southend Airport Company Limited has paid over £1.4m in settlement to the owners of properties who claimed property values were negatively affected by its runway extension.
The final settlements follow a ruling by the Lands Tribunal in March 2021 on 10 test cases brought under Part I of the Land Compensation Act 1973 which enables claims to be brought where interests in property are impacted by public works such as new roads.
Specialist Part 1 Land Compensation Act solicitors, Hugh James, acted for the group of 180 affected homeowners.
The claims, brought under Part 1 of the Land Compensation Act 1973, were originally notified to the Airport in 2013 by various firms of chartered surveyors, who represented affected homeowners. Whilst publicly confirming it would honour the compensation claims if loss of value was proven, London Southend Airport Company Limited defended the claims; denying the claim properties had depreciated in value by reason of the use of the Runway Extension. This resulted in the claims being referred to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) in March 2019 for determination.
Following delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw the week long hearing pushed back from June to October 2020, the Tribunal handed down its decision on 11 March 2021.
The Tribunal were asked to determine 10 ‘test’ claims, with the remaining 170 claims stayed pending the outcome of the test cases. After considering both parties’ evidence the Tribunal decided compensation should be awarded to 9 of the test claims, where the noise data illustrated a more than 3db noise increase as a result of the runway extension (with changes in day and night noise combined). The Tribunal were particularly sympathetic recognising the adverse change in night noise experienced by residents as a result of the runway extension, which saw the introduction of low cost carriers such as Easy Jet and Ryanair and early morning departures.
The compensation awards in the 9 successful claims ranged from £4000 – £17,000 depending on the capital value of the property and the extent of the noise increase beyond 3db.