Airport home buy pledged

BAA has announced that it will purchase 700 homes likely to be affected by constuction of a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

Residents will be offered guaranteed sales for their properties through BAA's property market support bond scheme. Prices will be index-linked to June 2002 Greater London property values, the date when proposals for a third runway were first mooted.

BAA said it would also fund legal and removal costs and stamp duty equivalent to the value of their property at the time owners sell. They would also receive a ten per cent "home loss payment", but only if permission is granted for a third runway.

BAA's R3 programme director Alastair McDermid said: "We hope that this announcement will reduce some of the uncertainty currently faced by local residents and provide a guarantee for those who wish to sell their property to BAA that they can now do so."

The operator revealed earlier this month that it has put back its application for the third runway (Planning, 16 October, p6). It insisted that its plans will still go ahead but anticipates a lengthy application process through the Infrastructure Planning Commission.

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