Now that’s a delay! 17-year wait for £1m airport payout
AS frustrated flyers know all too well, airport delays are sadly nothing new.
But one man has waited 17 years for an arrival from Stansted airport in Essex.
Farm owner Patrick Streeter was awarded £1million in compensation after a court found that works at the nearby airport had halved the price of his Grade II listed home.
But Mr Streeter is now accusing airport bosses of using an obscure legal loophole to drag their heels over the seven-figure payout.
Mr Streeter and his family have yet to receive a penny of the compensation – awarded in 1999 – because Stansted chiefs have yet to paint white lines on the airport tarmac.
The court agreed this must be done before the payment can be made.
The 69-year-old chartered accountant said: “One of their clever lawyers saw a loophole and realised that if the work isn’t finished, then they don’t have to pay out.
“They’ve got round it by not quite completing an area where the aeroplanes are parked.
“It’s 95 per cent completed, but they haven’t painted white lines [to mark each parking bay] and a petrol pump so they won’t pay out.”
Mr Streeter’s family home, a 13th century seven-bedroom farmhouse, is located just under a mile from the end of the runway.
He said his property shakes so much when planes take off that roof tiles are constantly dislodged.
Also, the constant cacophony of plane engines makes the place unbearable to live in and almost impossible to sell, he has claimed.
Mr Streeter said the disturbances have become so intolerable that he has been forced to move out of the property.
He has left the 1,000-acre crop farm to be run on a daily basis by his twin nephews Tom and Will Streeter.
Farm manager Tom now lives in the historic building with his wife Emma, 41, and their two daughters Eloise, 10, and Gracie, eight.
He said: “It is frustrating. When we’re sitting in the garden your coffee cup will wobble.
“The cargo planes are the worst. They wake up my kids at 1am sometimes.
“We lose a lot of tiles off the roof from the shaking.
“If you’re sitting in the garden at the weekend and a big plane goes over you, you have to stop talking because no one can hear you.
“Sometimes you can feel the ground shake and if the wind is blowing in the right direction the whole area stinks of aviation fuel.”
The Streeter family are now considering suing the airport for further compensation.
A Stansted airport spokesman said: “We are aware of Mr Streeter’s application and the matter is being consulted by MAG (the airport’s owner).”