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Residents press for airport compensation
5:15pm Monday 10th September 2012 in News
A NEW residents’ group has been formed to fight for compensation for homeowners who think Southend Airport ’s expansion has devalued their homes.
More than 300 people packed into a meeting to hear about possible claims they could make if their homes were under the airport’s flight path.
Three surveyors are offering to value of people’s homes and seek compensation under the Land Compensation Act if it turns out they have been affected by the increase in air traffic.
Almost all of the residents at Friday’s meeting, at Eastwood Community Centre, agreed to join a new pressure group.
They heard from Michael Marriott, a Westcliff -based chartered surveyor who, so far, is representing 450 claimants.
He told the meeting claimants would have to prove their home had been devalued by noise, vibration, dust, smell, light pollution, discharge or fumes. Householders would have to submit claims within a year of completion of the runway extension, on March 8.
He added: “The certainty is they have a right to claim. “We won’t know about an entitlement to compensation until we have considered the evidence after March 8 next year.”
If surveyors and the airport cannot agree on a valuation, claimants will be able to take their cases to court, where a solicitor has already offered to act on a no-win, no-fee basis.
The new, as yet, un-named group, will operate independently from Stop Airport Expansion Now, which campaigned long and hard to stop the expansion.
Stop Airport Expansion Now member Jon Fuller told the meeting: “The vast majority of people here have probably lost thousands of pounds on the value of their homes.
“It’s a question of business. Get the money you are owed.”
However, Adam Jones, Southend councillor for St Laurence ward, said he feared residents were being given a false hope of compensation.
Mr Jones, who was also at the meeting, said: “I have an open mind, but people are being led into a set of actions, thinking they are going to be given a form of compensation, but they don’t know when, from where and how much.”
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