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Rates cut not a flight of fancy

Published 16/12/2006

Having digested the news that George Best Belfast City Airport is going ahead with its expansion plans, despite the findings of the Examination in Public, perhaps it is time that those of us who are trapped under what amounts to an aerial motorway should read page nine of the document which accompanied our rates estimates.

It states that 'if an encumbrance has a negative effect on the enjoyment of the property, you can ask for a review of the property's capital value'.

I would argue that the increasingly busy, loud and polluting flight paths over the suburbs of east and south Belfast are an encumbrance and ratepayers should be entitled to a rate rebate on those grounds.

Perhaps the airport itself should be forced to finance this rebate, as it has done absolutely nothing to compensate long-suffering residents by providing any help with noise insulation, something which other EU airports regard as a matter of best practice and fund on an ongoing basis.


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