19 May 2012

Residents near Wellington Airport resist re-location

7:42 am on 19 May 2012

Dozens of people living near Wellington airport are rejecting airport demands that they must leave their homes because of potential future noise problems.

Tenants living in 19 airport-owned properties on Bridge Street have been told they have six months to leave as the buildings are to be demolished. Three other houses are unoccupied and removal of these will begin in June.

The airport company also wants to buy 22 other, privately-owned, homes in the same area.

It says airport noise is only going to get worse as the number of flights increases, and it wants to protect people from that.

One affected home owner, John Parbhu, says noise isn't a problem. He has lived in his house since 1956 and does not want to move.

The airport company says there is no pressure on homeowners to sell, but it does eventually want to own all the earmarked properties to make way for a park.

Wellington Airport chief operating officer John Howarth says the company will offer to buy privately-owned properties where noise mitigation is not possible, with a view to removing them in the future.

The airport company will also pay for sound-proofing renovations on up to 700 more properties during the next two years.

This work is estimated to cost the airport $10-$20 million.