Heathrow Compensation Claims
The UK has the third largest aviation network in the world1 and in 2014 the sector contributed £20 billion to the economy2 and supported an estimated 230,000 jobs3.
The entire London Airports’ system is forecast to operate at maximum capacity by 20404.
In July 2015, the Airports Commission (an independent body set up by the Coalition Government in 2012 to evaluate capacity and future requirements) concluded that a North West Runway at Heathrow Airport would be the best option to increase aviation connectivity and capacity. This, combined with a package of supporting measures, would provide the greatest strategic and economic benefits.
On October 25 2016 the Government announced that it had approved a new runway at Heathrow Airport. This new runway will be the first full-length runway in the South-East since World War Two. The planning framework of the project will be set out in an Airports National Policy Statement, and a draft version was released on February 2017.
The Department of Transport released a list of the key benefits of creating a third runway which include:
- Economic: The benefits of increased flight capacity to the UK economy is estimated to be £61 billion over 60 years (Airports Commission’s analysis).
- Passenger: Increased capacity to deliver flights – could potentially reduce airfares – and offer a greater selection of destinations.
- Freight: Increased capacity to carry more freight.
- Employment: The new runway could create an estimated 77,000 new local jobs by 2030 with significant benefits for the five boroughs nearest to the airport – Ealing, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Slough and Spelthorne.
Potential post-Brexit benefits
Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, commented in the Commons5:
“Leaving the EU is a new chapter for Britain and provides us with a great opportunity to forge a new role in the world. We are determined to seize that opportunity and having the right infrastructure in place will allow us to build a more global Britain,” he told MPs.
A more global Britain would require enhanced aviation capacity and logistical infrastructure. Welcomed by the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and supporting the Government’s increased exports vision promoted via Brexit, the third runway would enhance6:
- Future trade partnerships including new capacity services for Asia, South America and the Indian sub-continent
- Increased delivery of goods
- Timely delivery of goods
- Reduced transports costs
A wide range of unions and business have welcomed the new runway
The CBI released a response to the Department of Transport’s Consultation on the Draft Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) which supports the FTAs conclusions.
The CBI’s key supporting arguments to the creation of the third runway included:
- Improved aviation and freight connectivity and capacity – both international and domestic
- Increased international trade
- Increased investment in the UK
- Exploit opportunities to generate over £31 billion in trade by 2030 with the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economies as well other emerging markets.
- 5000 apprenticeships and 94,900 manufacturing jobs with benefits extending throughout the supply chain.
- Transforming of the British Construction Industry
Legal Challenges and Opportunities
The new runway could present both opportunities and challenges to the local community, businesses, habitats and the environment.
The core growth areas include:
Commercial properties and warehousing businesses would benefit from the surge in interest and this could potentially drive up land values and commercial rents.
The creation of four construction hubs has been proposed in order to allow project components to be built away from the airport. The Construction Industry has reacted positively to the news and to the financial security and investment that such a large scale project provides.
Steve Radley, Director of Policy at the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) commented: “Today’s Heathrow announcement, if given the final go ahead, could offer a major boost to the construction industry in these uncertain economic conditions.
Major projects like this help build a strong pipeline of work, which enables construction firms to plan for the future and offer thousands of jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities.”
3.Construction and engineering dispute resolution
The large numbers of contractors, sub-contractors and the complexity of the project, could potentially require the services of specialist construction and engineering dispute resolution lawyers and adjudication services.
A large number of employees and contractors will be required to complete the project. With many construction jobs employing EU nationals, the project may require specialist employment lawyers with experience in complex employment projects, contracts and services.
5.International legal services
Due to the European and international aspects of the project and the companies affected by the new runway and increased freight capacity, a co-ordinated international legal management service to multinational organisations may facilitate operations, employee relocation and commercial expansion.
SMEs will similarly benefit from increased freight capacity and international flights. London Heathrow Airport has not only launched a new project to boost SME involvement in the supply chain of the UK’s hub airport, it has partnered with the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) to launch its World of Opportunity program, which will award £2,000 (US$2,555) to 20 British SMEs to fund vital trade missions and research.
John Holland-Kaye, CEO, London Heathrow, said, “As the UK’s gateway to the world and its biggest port by value, Heathrow wants to do all it can to help British businesses spread their products around the globe and grow international trade”.
The potential challenges for residents, charities, local community and authorities:
1. The local community
Local residents and businesses face the prospect of relocation, additional noise, pollution and disruption resulting from the construction and operation of the runway. Several charities, local communities, MPs and Local Authorities have raised objections and concerns.
The Department of Transport’s “ Draft Airports National Policy Statement (NPS): New runway capacity and infrastructure at airports in the South East of England” submitted February 2017, sets out:
- The Government’s policy on the need for new airport capacity in the South East of England;
- The Government’s preferred location and scheme to deliver new capacity; and
- Particular considerations relevant to a development consent application to which the Airports NPS relates.
The Government believes that an NPS is the most appropriate method to put in place the planning framework for a new runway in the South East of England.
2. The impact on health, wildlife and equality
Implementation of the NPS is likely to face objections relating to the environmental, ecological, health and noise implications of the project.
In its final report, the Airports Commission recommended that:
“To make expansion possible…a comprehensive package of accompanying measures [should be recommended to] make the airport’s expansion more acceptable to its local community, and to Londoners generally.”
3. The Airports NPS has also been assessed under a variety of regulations:
Habitats Regulations Assessment: The Airports NPS has also been assessed under the Habitats and Wild Birds Directive and Regulations. A Habitats Regulations Assessment has been undertaken at a strategic level, and was published alongside the Airports NPS.
Equality Impact Assessment: The Airports NPS has been informed by an Interim Equality Impact Assessment, which was published alongside the Airports NPS. Under the Equality Act 2010, public bodies have a statutory duty to ensure race, disability and equality are considered in the exercise of their functions. The Interim Equality Impact Assessment considered the potential equalities implications of airport expansion, including the effect on persons or groups of persons who share certain characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010.
Health Impact Assessment: The Airports NPS has been subject to a Health Impact Assessment, which was published alongside the Airports NPS. The Health Impact Assessment identified impacts which would affect the population’s health, including noise, air quality and socioeconomic impacts. In order to be compliant with the Airports NPS, a further project level Health Impact Assessment is required. The application should include and propose health mitigation, which seeks to maximise the health benefits of the scheme and mitigate any negative health impacts.
Heathrow Compulsory Purchase and Compensation Scheme
If you are a local resident or business affected by the Heathrow expansion you may be entitled to compensation.
Contact IBB’s property dispute resolution solicitors for expert advice on obtaining compensation associated with construction of the third runway at Heathrow and the consequences of the increased air traffic. Call us today on 01895 207988 or email email@example.com.
- The Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015, World Economic Forum, 2015, based on available airline seat kilometres
- ONS, Input-Output Supply and Use tables, 2014
- ONS, Business Register and Employment Survey, 2014
- https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/airports-commission-final-report Airports Commission: Final Report, p3
- https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/aviation-capacity 9 Throughout this document, unless specified otherwise, the term “NPS” refers to the Airports NPS. Other NPSs, for example the National Networks NPS, are referred to in full as required 10 https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/airport-capacity
- York Aviation Report, 2015