Simon Bazalgette loves his house in Kew, south-west London, so much that he does not mind living under the flight path of Heathrow.
We are in the back garden admiring his apple, olive and fig trees and a couple of frogs in the corner. The chief executive of the UK’s Jockey Club is telling me the garden is his wife’s work when our conversation is drowned out by the noise of a plane overhead. “It’s amazing how quickly you get used to it, although luckily they don’t come over all the time. They haven’t been coming over this morning.” Then, with a smile, he adds: “They obviously saw you coming and decided now’s the time to move the flight path.” Even the controversial proposal for a third runway at Heathrow, opposed by so many Londoners, is met with a shrug. “You’ve got to have one somewhere, haven’t you?”
For the 53-year-old all the noise is compensated by the “fantastic location”: the end of a row of six terraced houses built in the 1830s and overlooking Kew Green. Soon we are standing on the balcony of his sitting room looking out at the green. “I’ve got four boys and, as with boys, they’re like dogs, we have to send them out to run about a bit. The green is, effectively, our front garden. But we don’t have to worry about cutting the grass.”
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