24 February 2020 | Comment | Article by Susanna Evans

Time is running out for those that have been affected by Birmingham Airport's runway extension

Birmingham Airport extended its runway in February 2014 resulting in residents to the north of the airfield in Birmingham and North Solihull, to the south of the airfield Bickenhill, Balsall Common, Barston, Catherine de Barnes, Eastcote, Hampton in Arden and Knowle complaining of an increase in noise from aircraft departing, landing and aircraft taxiing on the extended runway.

Susanna Evans, Senior Associate in the Environment Team at Hugh James said:

According to its accounts the airport has set aside a provision of £2m as a result of the runway extension to include the payment for land compensation act claims but the dealing for residents to make claims is now fast approaching.

The works to extend the runway included an additional 405 metres to the south of the runway together with a 150 metre starter extension, meaning the runway length changed from 2599 metres to 3004 metres.

A taxiway was also added parallel to the extended runway. The runway was extended to provide additional handling capabilities for long haul services to locations such as the west coast of the USA, the Far East and the Indian sub-continent. This was to accommodate larger aircraft to use the runway.

Can I make a claim for compensation?

We act on behalf of clients who say that since the runway was extended, it is now closer to their property and aircraft are flying over at a lower height. This has increased the noise affecting their enjoyment of their property.

The Land Compensation Act provides a right to compensation when it can be shown that there has been an increase in certain physical factors arising from runway alterations. These include noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke and artificial lighting that may affect the claimant's property and cause depreciation in its value.

Compensation is payable by the responsible authority, which in this case would be Birmingham Airport Limited. If claims are not agreed or resolved through negotiation they can be referred to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber), often referred to as the Lands Tribunal, for determination.

The Land Compensation Act 1973 provides that claims must be referred to the Lands Tribunal for determination within seven years of the date the relevant works were first used after completion. The extended runway at Birmingham Airport was completed on 5 February 2014; therefore claims need to be referred to the Lands Tribunal before 5 February 2021. The Lands Tribunal does not have discretion to extend the time for bringing claims. It is therefore very important that claims are brought within this time period.

Hugh James specialise in dealing with Part 1 Land Compensation Act claims having dealt with claims concerning works done at Manchester Airport, East Midlands, Farnborough and London Southend. For more information on this please follow the link to find out more about the Land Compensation Act

If you are affected and want to make a claim, what are the next steps?

Are aircraft flying more frequently, lower or closer to your property than they did before the runway was extended? If you have been affected by an increase in any of the physical factors as a result of the use of the extended runway i.e. noise, artificial lighting (including landing lights and aircraft lights) etc, please contact a member of the Environment Team on 029 2267 5640 to register your interest in bringing a claim.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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