Hun­dreds of homes to be de­mol­ished to make way for third Heathrow run­way

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Hun­dreds of home own­ers will get com­pen­sa­tion from the UK gov­ern­ment for 125% of the value of their prop­er­ties af­ter it was an­nounced that a third run­way will be built at Heathrow Air­port in Lon­don, ac­cord­ing to Prop­er­

Parts of some vil­lages will be de­mol­ished to make way for the run­way which is set to open in 2025, but thou­sands of own­ers face be­ing un­able to sell as they will not be near enough for the com­pen­sa­tion plan but close enough to be af­fected by noise and pollution.

How­ever, one prop­erty ex­pert says it is in op­por­tu­nity for first-time buy­ers to get on the hous­ing lad­der as prices in some ar­eas close to the new run­way will fall con­sid­er­ably. But oth­ers face their homes be­ing un­saleable un­til the ex­act lo­ca­tion of the work is an­nounced.

The gov­ern­ment said that a de­ci­sion on the ex­act lo­ca­tion of the new run­way will be the sub­ject of a con­sul­ta­tion and par­lia­ment will vote on it in about a year’s time. But it is likely to mean that around 750 homes, some dat­ing back to the 17th cen­tury in pretty vil­lages will be de­mol­ished.

It is thought that half of the vil­lage of Har­mondsworth will dis­ap­pear and the other half, in­clud­ing a 600 year old, Grade I listed barn and an 11th Cen­tury Church will be me­tres from the ex­ten­sion to Heathrow air­port.

The gov­ern­ment con­firmed that a com­pen­sa­tion pack­ing will be set up to give home own­ers whose prop­er­ties will com­pul­so­rily be pur­chased some 125% of the market value of their prop­er­ties, plus stamp duty and other fees.

Mark Hay­ward, mang­ing di­rec­tor of the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Es­tate Agents (NAEA), pointed out that the de­ci­sion to give the go-ahead to the run­way is likely to have a neg­a­tive im­pact on house prices in the im­me­di­ate vicin­ity of Heathrow.

“How­ever, along­side to­day’s an­nounce­ment, the gov­ern­ment has also re­leased de­tails of a fresh con­sul­ta­tion, while the threat of ju­di­cial re­view still re­mains high. This means home own­ers that will be im­pacted by the ex­tra run­way should not rush into mak­ing knee jerk de­ci­sions, as they have time to as­sess their op­tions,” he said.

“In ad­di­tion, the gov­ern­ment has con­firmed that home own­ers fac­ing com­pul­sory pur­chase will re­ceive 125% of full market value for their prop­er­ties, plus stamp duty, le­gal fees and mov­ing costs. While a per­son’s home is much more than bricks and mor­tar, it is vi­tal that the gov­ern­ment hon­ours this com­mit­ment to en­sure that those im­pacted are of­fered some fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity for the years ahead,” he added.

Ac­cord­ing to Rus­sell Quirk, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of eMoov, home own­ers in Houn­slow, Kew, Wind­sor, Maiden­head and other sur­round­ing ar­eas are likely to see the value of their prop­erty blighted as a re­sult of a lengthy con­struc­tion process and on­go­ing noise and air pollution.

But he also pointed out that the de­ci­sion could cre­ate Lon­don’s first af­ford­able pocket for hous­ing, but not in a way that as­pir­ing Lon­don home own­ers may want. He ex­plained that in the last ten years prop­erty prices in Hilling­don, for ex­am­ple, have in­creased by 77% and they could now see a re­duc­tion of at least 20%. He be­lieves homes val­ues in Houn­slow could also fall and even fur­ther west in Wind­sor and Maiden­head they could also be se­verely af­fected by flight paths.

He be­lieves that even ar­eas such as Rich­mond, West­min­ster and Ham­mer­smith and Ful­ham could see a de­pre­ci­a­tion in prop­erty value due to noise and air pollution.

“No one in their right mind could find a prop­erty de­sir­able if that prop­erty sees jumbo jets hurtling past at all hours of the day and night, rat­tling sec­ondary dou­ble glaz­ing and leav­ing the faint aroma of jet fuel lin­ger­ing in the air,” said Quirk.

“How­ever, home own­ers have been scream­ing out for an af­ford­able part of the cap­i­tal and the de­ci­sion to place a third run­way at Heathrow may have in­ad­ver­tently pro­vided that, but not as they would have wished. Ex­pan­sion could see house prices in those ar­eas worst af­fected by the noise and air pollution plum­met by as much as 20% as a re­sult, a very re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tion given the neg­a­tive im­pact noise and air pollution can have to a prop­erty’s de­sir­abil­ity,” he added.

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