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Graham Awards


Agent says Heathrow blight shows need for compensation reform

Knight Frank says the recommendation by the Airports Commission that there should be an additional runway at Heathrow will probably cause blight. 

James Del Mar, head of Knight Frank’s rural consultancy department - a division which has acted for property owners affected by infrastructure schemes, including HS2 - says the commission’s recommendation highlights the need to reform the current system for paying compensation to blighted home owners.

“Such a controversial scheme will take many years before it gets to the point where affected property owners qualify for official compensation. But in the meantime the value of their homes could be blighted, affecting those who need to move for whatever reason” says Del Mar. 


“The current compensation system works well for projects that are quickly approved and developed, but is seriously lacking when it comes to those living in the shadow of a major infrastructure scheme” he says.

In its final report, the commission, set up under the previous coalition government, said expansion of Heathrow would add £147 billion to the economy and 70,000 jobs by 2050.

The government says it will make a final decision on what, if any, expansion will take place at any London airport, by the end of this year.

  • icon

    Well if it's going to add so much to the economy, paying compensation to homeowners seems like it would be relatively straight forward...

  • Peter Hendry

    Here's a new proposal, designed to provide more affordable housing in the London basin than can ever have been imagined AND provide a completely new state of the art airport for London.

    Build a new bespoke one on the London Estuary with a fast road and rail link to and from the capital?

    Then, and this is the really clever bit, recycle Heathrow entirely by building hundreds of new houses and estates using the existing runways and feeders without needing to lay foundations.

    The construction costs would be super economical and the build time very short. High housing demand would take care of sales and lettings. Innovative designs and varieties of house-sizes could also be incorporated. Top soil could be added above existing concrete apron level.

    Some of the cost of building the new London Estuary airport could be financed from the massive construction savings made at the former Heathrow airport site.

    Zac Goldsmith and Boris Johnson please take note.
    Added: Friday 11th December, 2015


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