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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 November, 2004, 07:59 GMT
Council sues over Stansted offer
Stansted Airport
Some homeowners will be compensated for 'noise blight'
A parish council in Essex has started court proceedings over compensation being offered to residents affected by the expansion of Stansted Airport.

Takeley Parish Council is planning to sue the Secretary of State for Transport under the Human Rights Act.

Trevor Allen, council chairman, said the government and BAA should "protect residents from generalised blight" and lower housing values, not just noise.

"We believe they have reneged on that responsibility," he told BBC Look East.

A scheme proposed by BAA, Stansted's owners, would offer 540 homeowners within a 66 decibel "noise contour" their 2002 house price as compensation.

The council claims the noise level cutoff is too high under health guidelines and the contour map splits the Takeley community in half, with next-door neighbours qualifying or being excluded based on an arbitrary line.

And it says that generalised property blight and lower home values caused by expansion at the airport affects as many as 12,000 homes across a number of parishes.

Mr Allen said "many local families are currently in an unbearable position and feel trapped" because they cannot sell their homes.

Solicitors for the council are to commence Judicial Review proceedings unless the Secretary of State for Transport offers a "satisfactory response" within 14 days.

They will claim that the Stansted scheme amounts to a deprivation of property under the EU Convention on Human Rights.

The government already faces a Judicial Review of the Air Transport White Paper in the High Court on 13 December.


SEE ALSO:
New runway ignores local plan
13 Feb 04 |  Essex


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