Tuesday, April 08, 2008

House Purchasing In the Radius Of London City Airport - Are you being told the truth?

Not only will existing residential areas around the airport suffer from increasingly annoying levels of noise from jets upon any expansion - but some of the new developments will be pushed into the second loudest noise contours surrounding London City Airport. That is not going to be a nice place to be at all if expansion goes ahead. Silvertown Quays, we recall is going to be subjected to a whopping 79db laeq. So in reality the noise levels are probably in the 90dbs range.

Interestingly when you look at the marketing materials of some developments by the airport there is no mention of the planned LCA expansion, masterplan, nor of the noise levels experienced or of any possible increase in those levels. How very strange that is. And the same is true of some agents showing prospective buyers of properties for re-sale on the south side of the river - not a mention of the planned expansion of flights - even upon asking directly about it!

Aviation expansion and residential areas do not mix - but so long as councils play down the levels of noise and the disruption from LCA and give planning approval, developers and estate agents will build and sell you the properties. Of course the problem comes after you have purchased the property and realise when you can't have your windows open, you are sealed in your home like a prisoner to drown out the sound of planes, can't spend time outside and you lose money on your property. Still, as long as the councils get their council tax (of which contributes to LCA's £7million security bill) that's all they care about.

And what motivates councils to approve the current level of housebuilding around LCA and also for some not to object to LCA expansion (we still haven't heard Sir Robin Wales's stand on this!). Well it is only one thing - greed. Once you have purchased your home, d0n't expect any help from the developer, Council or local Councillors because in the case of Newham and Greenwich it appears they'd rather not know.

Yes, it really is the case of fleecing the residents who live in the area and whom contribute to the community and regeneration for the case of collecting the gold coins. The Council seems to want it all ways (something they share with LCA!) - but it just doesn't work if you want to build a thriving residential community and the sooner they realise that housebuilding and aviation expansion in the high density housing areas of east and south east London is in conflict - the sooner they can allow the Thames Gateway plans to go ahead and get on with some decent, sustainable and community-building regeneration plans.

We can only wait and see if Newham Council puts residents best interests first: all 46,000+ of them in the noise contours and the many thousands beyond, or whether there will be a public inquiry which may highlight a few of those spun deceptions that are out there floating around from specific sources.

Enough is enough.