Wednesday, May 13, 2009

London City Airport Loses YOU Thousands On Property

Not only do you have to pay extra taxes for London City Airports security, but you also pay for the airports noisy, and polluting operations...on the value of your property.

The Stop Stansted Expansion campaign group looked into this issue more closely and presented evidence at the last Stansted Public Inquiry in 2007. Ken McDonald, the author, found that aviation expansion was responsible for the loss of domestic property value of approximately £1 billion in and around the environs of Stansted Airport. You can read the whole paper here.

The paper showed that airport expansion when announced by SERAS in 2002 had a subsequent negative economic impact in the area surrounding Stansted airport compared with not only the rest of Essex but also neighbouring Herts and South Cambs. You can also view this information on the Stop Stansted Expansion website together with all the back up figures from the Land Registry statistics.

We haven't carried out anything like this for London City Airport, but the same principles apply to the areas affected by London City Airports' threatened expansion and have potentially already lost domestic property owners £1000s on the value of their homes adding up to millions in the areas affected. That's exclusive of the effect of falling property prices caused by the current recession.

However, to all those doubters out there (mostly the airport shareholders and their staff) there is also further evidence to support the findings in Ken's paper: Findaproperty published an article entitled 'Beware The Pungent Pong' 10 Jun 2003 as a news item. It stated that being near an airport or flightpath reduces the value of homes at a minimum of 15%. Cranfield University's Peter Brooker also produced a paper on 'Aircraft Noise Annoyance House Prices And Valuation 2006. He quoted that current government policy (DfT) states:
“…we will work to ensure that aviation meets its external costs, including its
environmental and health costs. The aviation industry has a responsibility to
reduce its impacts under the 'polluter pays' principle.”

Valuation of aircraft noise’s external costs is a vital component of environmental
impact assessment. If, say, Heathrow airport’s runways are operated differently, or if
new runways are built, then what are the corresponding environmental costs? What
are aviation’s ‘external costs’ for noise disturbance?

And yet strangely that valuation of aircraft noise's external costs are not addressed in environmental impact assessments at London City Airport at all in so much as the value of property being affected. When this issue was raised to the Newham Council Planning officer - a resident was told that property value was 'not a consideration of the planning process in relation to London City Airports expansion'. It seems that perhaps the Planning Officer had misunderstood the policy principle, or perhaps chose to.

So how much can homeowners in Newham and the neighbouring boroughs expect to lose on the value of their property, simply because of noise and air pollution? Not being able to open windows is not a selling point, neither is not being able to sit in your garden, like the man in Bexleyheath complained about. The noise of City Airport planes really worried him. As we all know 99% of the housing affected in the noise contour zone will not be entitled to any noise management assistance from the airport at all.

At a minimum it seems that you will lose 15% on the value of your property. Seeing that the area is the most densely occupied area of the country, the loss to property value could well exceed that in the environs of Stansted. The property is blighted and the area is blighted due to London City Airport wanting to continue to expand.

The airport isn't discussing this, and never will, as it could cost them money. The London Borough of Newham doesn't care about how much property owners lose, either in the quality of their lives or value of their homes - as long as they please Sir Rob and Richard Gooding. Newham are terribly impressed by big business, rather too easily impressed in our opinion.

What is most amusing about this evidence, and all the other evidence that has been carried out and supports that aviation does have a negative effect on home values is that London City Airport asked one of their consultants to carry out some research into this. Of course, they found that no value was lost at all on the value of properties.

You've got to laugh at how they managed to miss all this evidence! As we say, we are fighting against the lies, for the truth. Seems they still don't deal in the truth, particularly if it may cost them money in the community.