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Stansted Airport declines to reveal details of compensation deals for householders

Stansted Airport's new chief operating officer Steve Griffiths. (9826178)
Stansted Airport's new chief operating officer Steve Griffiths. (9826178)

Stansted Airport bosses have refused to reveal how they reach compensation deals with householders hit by falling property prices.

Owner Manchester Airports Group has been brokering packages after conceding that some residents had missed out on restitution.

The issue has its roots in expansion at the airport dating back to 1999, when it was handing 8 million passengers a year and planning permission was granted for growth to 15m. By 2002, that target was reached and residents affected by increased noise expected to be able to claim for compensation if their home's value was affected.

However, the airport argued that compensation claims could only be triggered by the completion of all associated works – and a taxiway called Echo remained unfinished. That position changed only after a legal challenge in 2016.

Initially, management insisted that compensation could only be considered if claimants were in residence at the time of the expansion works and still lived in the affected property, but campaigners backed by Stop Stansted Expansion forced a rethink.

At the latest meeting of the Stansted Airport Consultative Committee, Irene Jones tabled a public question: "To ask if MAG would publish the independent valuation evidence that it has used to assess compensation claims for loss of property value."

Steve Griffiths, the airport's chief operating officer, said there was no set formula and calculations would not be revealed for reasons of commercial confidentiality.

He said MAG continued to make "very encouraging progress" settling outstanding claims and was committed to "positive engagement" with those affected.

However, one resident, who asked to remain anonymous, claimed the airport was offering derisory amounts and using non-disclosure agreements to silence dissent.

He said: "Residents with an outstanding eligible claim under the Land Compensation Act, who have either not already accepted an ex gratia payment or not received any offer of such a payment, are invited to join the Stansted Compensation Action Group. To find out more about this initiative, claimants should contact scactiongroup@gmail.com."

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