Feltham and Heston MP Seema Malhotra has called upon Heathrow Airport to expand its Quieter Homes Initiative scheme that offers compensation to communities impacted by noise pollution from aircraft.
The Quieter Homes Initiative[i] covers approximately 1,200 homes located close to Heathrow which experience the highest level of aircraft noise. The current qualification for the scheme applies to properties that are within the 2011 69+Laeq noise contour. Homes within this contour are eligible for 100% financial compensation for the cost of soundproofing works.
The calculations for eligibility for the QHI scheme are based only on aircraft noise. There is no method through which other airport related noise is taken into account.
Further, many residents feel that the sole use of the noise contours (on which the level of compensation received is based) does not adequately reflect the reality of noise disturbance that they experience on a daily basis.[ii]
Seema Malhotra, MP for Feltham and Heston said, “It cannot be correct that residents living on the same street should be offered 50% less financial assistance for mitigation measures when they do not experience a 50% difference in noise pollution from aircraft.”
“I have asked Heathrow to review the eligibility criteria for financial assistance and urged them to expand the scheme to ensure that communities negatively impacted by aircraft noise receive equal compensation.”
[i] Heathrow Noise Insulation schemes
[ii] Results of the updated 2017 Survey on Noise Attitudes (SoNA) report published by the CAA concludes that people experience significant annoyance at a much lower level.
WHO guidance suggests that noise annoyance begins at 50 dBLAeq and this should apply as a minimum qualification for mitigation.
Here is the letter in full to John Holland-Kaye: