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Airport saga finally ends for residents – with big payouts
THE payout announcement on Friday brings to an end a saga that has dominated the thoughts of Mobberley and Knutsford residents for more than 10 years.
The second runway was opened in 2001 at a cost of £172 million.
Residents in Mobberley and Knutsford complained about the extra noise caused, and many were faced with speaking to the airport about compensation deals for the loss of value to their properties.
Although bosses handed out £9 million in damages, they refused to pay those who had not submitted claims before a 2010 legal deadline.
In October 2010, Knutsford resident Jeff Gazzard decided to ask the airport on behalf of Manchester Airport Environment Network for further compensation for those who were not able to hit that deadline.
A meeting was held at Knutsford Academy, but residents were told that no payout was guaranteed.
Jeff received 733 potential claims as a result of that meeting and holding clinics and those were submitted to the airport for consideration and then verified against the criteria established in previous local settlements.
A handful of people attempted to claim again after already receiving a pay out from the airport in the previous round of compensation deals, and a few claims were dismissed after they were located outside the agreed ‘geographic noise impact boundaries’.
Housing association and commercial properties were also told they could not receive compensation as well as properties registering a change of ownership during and after January 2001.
In total, 583 homeowners will share more than £870,000.
Jeff told the Guardian that all of the residents of Mobberley and Knutsford will receive a rate relief in the form of their local precept.
“During negotiations, the airport’s team suggested that the balance could be used to pay both the Knutsford and Mobberley local precept which is collected via the annual council tax invoice, a small but welcome form of rate relief for all local residents,” he said.
“This is likely to be reflected as a grant to both councils in the financial year 2013-2014 – although at this time there are some logistical details still to be worked through.
“The agreed contribution will be as follows; Mobberley Parish Council precept – an average of the last two years – will be £42,250 and Knutsford Town Council precept – a two-year average – will be £75,452.”
In Knutsford an average band D property will be around £13 better off.
The airport then agreed to allocate the remaining balance to the six local schools – Mobberley Primary, Bexton Primary, Manor Park, Egerton Primary, St Vincent’s Primary and Knutsford Academy – which means a £1,300 grant for each school.
Jeff added: “I have written to all those who set out a claim last year and said all successful homeowners will be contacted and asked to complete and return a final claim form to MAEN for processing – payments directly from MAG plc will commence in the very near future.
“All unsuccessful applicants have also been informed in writing.
“This settlement is an acceptable outcome and represents an opportunity to draw a firm line under second runway compensation issues.”