A court has ordered that London Southend Airport should pay a total of £86,500 in compensation to owners of nine neighbouring homes who say their values were diminished by noise following a runway extension.
In its ruling, the Upper Tribunal’s Lands Chamber ordered that payments ranging from £4,000 to £17,000 be made in respect of the nine homes, while a claim for a tenth property was dismissed.
The court considered 10 exemplar cases after 190 current and former owners of houses in the vicinity of the airport referred claims for compensation under the Land Compensation Act 1973.
The claimants asserted that the value of their homes has been depreciated by “physical factors caused by the use of the runway extension, and in particular by the increased noise they experience from the larger aircraft which now take off and land at the airport”.
An extension to the existing runway was opened in 2012, enabling the airport to “attract low cost commercial airlines operating much larger aircraft than had previously flown from it”.
The tribunal, led by deputy chamber president Martin Rodger QC and chartered surveyor Andrew Trott, said: “The general impression created by the daytime noise data is that between 2011 and 2014 what was already quite a noisy environment got noisier.”
They added: “We are satisfied from the evidence of fact, the expert noise evidence and our site inspection that the use of the runway extension has caused depreciation in the value of most of the lead properties due to noise.”
In 2013, the value of the lead properties ranged from £150,000 to £280,000, and the claimants sought compensation of between £32,200 and £60,100.
The airport denied that the value of any of the lead properties has been “diminished by relevant physical factors resulting from the use of the runway extension and it values each of the claims at nil”.
A spokesman for the airport said: “London Southend Airport respects the decision of the independent judicial tribunal.
“The airport takes its role in the community extremely seriously and will continue to engage with residents so that we can all enjoy a sustainable future founded on responsible airport operations and creating long-term job opportunities.”