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Wellington airport to sound-proof houses

05:30 AEST Thu May 17 2012
AAP
Wellington Airport has unveiled plans to sound-proof up to 700 nearby houses
Wellington Airport has unveiled plans to sound-proof up to 700 nearby houses

Wellington Airport will pay for window seals, air ventilation and insulation to sound-proof hundreds of nearby homes, schools and early childhood centres, and offer to buy other houses where it can't mitigate the noise.

The airport's noise management committee has announced it will spend the next two years developing noise assessment and treatment packages for nearby buildings.

The announcement follows a study, commissioned by the committee, which identified areas that will be affected by future noise, but within permitted levels.

The airport will remove 22 houses it owns on Bridge Street, on the airport's western boundary, where noise can't be insulated against.

Three of the buildings are unoccupied and will be removed from June 2012.

The tenants of the other 19 buildings have been given six months' notice to find new rental accommodation before removal work on those buildings begins in November, Wellington Airport chief operating officer John Howarth says.

The airport will noise-proof up to 700 nearby houses and education centres, by providing seals on windows and air ventilation systems so air can be circulated without windows being opened to noise.

The airport says the treatment will vary for each house, depending on its age, construction, orientation of windows and its proximity to the airport.

The affected households will receive more information when the assessment process is finalised over the next two years.

Where noise mitigation isn't an option, the airport will offer to buy houses "at fair valuation", with the owners able to sell at any point in the future.

The airport intends to also remove those buildings in future.

Wellington Airport has bought other houses in the area over the past 10 years.

Mr Howarth says the plan is necessary to secure the airport's continued operation.

"The plan is an important step into ensuring airport noise is effectively managed in the future as airport activity grows," he said.