An application from Takeley Parish Council for Judicial Review of BAA's Home Owner Support Scheme was rejected at a permission hearing at the High Court today (14 December).
The ruling means that BAA will not be forced to compensate local residents who are unable to sell their homes as a result of expansion proposals for Stansted Airport.
The Government had promised in its Air Transport White Paper that the airport operator would need to put in place a scheme to address the problem of generalised blight resulting from the expansion plans. However, the High Court decided that the Government promise had no legal force and that BAA could not be legally challenged for failing to provide satisfactory compensation arrangements.
Commenting on the outcome, Trevor Allen, Chairman of Takeley Parish Council said: "Today's ruling has revealed the extent of the complicity between BAA and the Government in trying to expand Stansted on the cheap and at the expense of local people. The Government's White Paper promise to protect people blighted by the prospect of airport development clearly isn't worth the paper it is printed on. Its failure to compel BAA to introduce a fair and decent compensation scheme means that thousands of homeowners will continue to suffer from generalised blight until the expansion proposals are overturned."
Takeley Parish Council is taking advice from its barristers on the opportunities for lodging an appeal.
1 COURTS Stansted
STANSTED RUNWAY COMPENSATION BID FAILS
By John Aston, PA
Homeowners near Stansted airport today failed in a High Court bid
to enlarge the compensation scheme for properties blighted by a
planned second runway.
Takeley Parish Council led the residents' application for a
judicial review of the proposed "woefully inadequate" compensation
by the Essex airport.
The residents say the voluntary Home Owners Support Scheme, to be
implemented by Stansted Airport Plc, applies to about 500 homes in
the immediate vicinity of the airport.
They contend a more realistic estimate of the number of homes
affected by the proposals for expansion is 12,000.
Richard Gordon QC, appearing for Takeley, argued the scheme wrongly
relied on a ``noise contour'' to define the area of general blight
and those entitled to compensation.
The QC told Mr Justice Lloyd Jones: "It doesn't follow if you lay
down a noise contour all properties affected by generalised blight
are in this noise contour."
But the judge ruled the Takeley case ``unarguable''. Refusing the
council permission to seek a judicial review, he said Stansted
Airport Plc had been entitled to use the noise contour as a boundary
line for the scheme.