Airport safety zones could lead to compensation claims

A map of the proposed safety zones

A map of the proposed safety zones

First published in Echo News by

MORE homeowners under Southend Airport’s flightpath may be able to claim compensation if changes to safety zones are approved.

The Government wants to extend the areas under the flightpath where people are deemed to be at greater risk from aircraft taking off or landing.

Such a move would lead to restrictions on building work and development.

Southend Council could then have to pay homeowners compensation if it refused them planning permission for safety reasons.

It would then have to reclaim the cost from the airport’s operator.

One of the proposed public safety zones would extend south-west from the runway, across the Mendip Treecot estate and Blenheim Park, as far as Blenheim Primary School, restricting development, including expansion of the school.

The other would run northeast taking in a few homes in Southend Road, Rochford, and fields between Rochford and Purdeys Industrial Estate.

Civil Aviation Authority proposals, now out to consultation, mark out very tight, inner, higher- risk zones close to each end of the runway, where they calculate there is a theoretical one in 10,000 chance of people being at risk if there was a crash between now and 2027.

In these areas, the authority says it would normally expect airport operators to buy any properties and keep them empty.

However, at Southend, it says there are no such buildings.

A far wider area at each end of the runway is deemed to be in a lower-risk category, with a one in 100,000 chance of people being at risk.

An airport spokesman stressed: “The risk to those living, working or congregating in safety zones is still very low.

“The UK has an excellent air safety record, almost twice as good as the worldwide average.

“Even with the increase in air traffic in recent years, the number of worldwide accidents involving large commercial aircraft has approximately halved compared with 30 years ago.”

However, the Government is keen not to increase the number of people living, working or spending time in either type of public safety zone, aiming instead to reduce them if possible.

There is no automatic legal right to compensation, if planing permission is refused because of safety zones, but owners could qualify if another beneficial use for a site can be found.

A spokesman for Southend Council, which is responsible for Blenheim Primary School, said: “We are already aware of the existing limitations on building at the Blenheim site and will take them into account when considering any further development at the school.”

Comments (6)

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8:16am Fri 7 Mar 14

Howard Cháse says...

Keep getting planes flying lower than they used to over my flat in Pitsea since the redevlopment and enlargement of Stobart International Airport in Rochford.


Where's my compo?
Keep getting planes flying lower than they used to over my flat in Pitsea since the redevlopment and enlargement of Stobart International Airport in Rochford. Where's my compo? Howard Cháse
  • Score: -16

8:41am Fri 7 Mar 14

Thames Gateway says...

This sounds like a theoretical exercise by the CAA based on the number of passenger flights increasing since the new terminal opened. Let's face it, the number of passenger flights was still much higher in the fifties andsixties, and the reliability of the aircraft in those days was not nearly as safe as it is today, and the performance of the aircraft these days make this theoretical risk actually much less.
Don't get the bit about compensation, as the airport has been there for donkeys years and has always had an effect on what could or couldn't be built in certain areas.
This sounds like a theoretical exercise by the CAA based on the number of passenger flights increasing since the new terminal opened. Let's face it, the number of passenger flights was still much higher in the fifties andsixties, and the reliability of the aircraft in those days was not nearly as safe as it is today, and the performance of the aircraft these days make this theoretical risk actually much less. Don't get the bit about compensation, as the airport has been there for donkeys years and has always had an effect on what could or couldn't be built in certain areas. Thames Gateway
  • Score: 19

4:59pm Fri 7 Mar 14

jolllyboy says...

'no such buildings' says southend - cant believe that. I know of at least one empty house under the flightpath.

This ruling, if it comes in, is not aimed specifically at Southend, though I feel the government favouring regional airports has obviously caused them a few problems and rightly so. More than one research has stated that living under a flight path increases risks to health and not just from pollution. Fact.
'no such buildings' says southend - cant believe that. I know of at least one empty house under the flightpath. This ruling, if it comes in, is not aimed specifically at Southend, though I feel the government favouring regional airports has obviously caused them a few problems and rightly so. More than one research has stated that living under a flight path increases risks to health and not just from pollution. Fact. jolllyboy
  • Score: -15

5:28pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Levelfield says...

Anyone who takes the time to look at the old and the new Public Safety Zones will see that the new one to the south-west includes very few additional buildings (the one to the north-east includes no additional buildings at all), so the potential for any compensation would be extremely small. Compensation would become due only in cases where the Council could not grant planning consents due to the existence of the Zone. But permission can still be granted for all normal applications as long as they don't involve greater numbers of people either living or permanently employed in the premises in question. What percentage of planning applications in the extended Zone are likely to do that? A minute number I would suggest.
All in all another Echo non-story I'm afraid.
Anyone who takes the time to look at the old and the new Public Safety Zones will see that the new one to the south-west includes very few additional buildings (the one to the north-east includes no additional buildings at all), so the potential for any compensation would be extremely small. Compensation would become due only in cases where the Council could not grant planning consents due to the existence of the Zone. But permission can still be granted for all normal applications as long as they don't involve greater numbers of people either living or permanently employed in the premises in question. What percentage of planning applications in the extended Zone are likely to do that? A minute number I would suggest. All in all another Echo non-story I'm afraid. Levelfield
  • Score: 10

11:11pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Joe Clark says...

jolllyboy wrote:
'no such buildings' says southend - cant believe that. I know of at least one empty house under the flightpath.

This ruling, if it comes in, is not aimed specifically at Southend, though I feel the government favouring regional airports has obviously caused them a few problems and rightly so. More than one research has stated that living under a flight path increases risks to health and not just from pollution. Fact.
WOW one empty house under the flight path that's like a massive amount what are we going to do, it must be like a ghost town, I'm amazed that this ONE empty house has not been picked up by the Echo, perhaps you should call the nationals and let know as it is of major major national importance that there is a single house empty under the flight path perhaps you should call sky news and get your name attached to a huge BREAKING NEWS story, I mean this must be taken all the way to the hole wide world that there is an empty house under a light path.

Go forth jollyboy and spread the word that you have seen an empty house in Southend you must spread the word write a book and sign the rights to a blockbuster film and all the tie in toys.
[quote][p][bold]jolllyboy[/bold] wrote: 'no such buildings' says southend - cant believe that. I know of at least one empty house under the flightpath. This ruling, if it comes in, is not aimed specifically at Southend, though I feel the government favouring regional airports has obviously caused them a few problems and rightly so. More than one research has stated that living under a flight path increases risks to health and not just from pollution. Fact.[/p][/quote]WOW one empty house under the flight path that's like a massive amount what are we going to do, it must be like a ghost town, I'm amazed that this ONE empty house has not been picked up by the Echo, perhaps you should call the nationals and let know as it is of major major national importance that there is a single house empty under the flight path perhaps you should call sky news and get your name attached to a huge BREAKING NEWS story, I mean this must be taken all the way to the hole wide world that there is an empty house under a light path. Go forth jollyboy and spread the word that you have seen an empty house in Southend you must spread the word write a book and sign the rights to a blockbuster film and all the tie in toys. Joe Clark
  • Score: 9

2:20pm Mon 10 Mar 14

w-jback says...

"However, at Southend, it says there are no such buildings. "

Entirely true, jayman is probably talking about the empty house along Southend Road by the approach lights which as far as I know is in Rochford.
"However, at Southend, it says there are no such buildings. " Entirely true, jayman is probably talking about the empty house along Southend Road by the approach lights which as far as I know is in Rochford. w-jback
  • Score: 0

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