Airport operator says it has bought around 270 properties affected by a proposed second runway

BAA has spent £90m buying up properties around its Stansted site in Essex.

The airport operator, which is planning a second runway, has now bought all but six properties within the proposed boundary for the runway.

It has also purchased homes threatened by noise from the airport expansion, resulting in BAA owning around 270 properties, according to the BBC.

The development has currently been mothballed after a planning inquiry, due to take place in the spring, was postponed by the Competition Commission because the airport was up for sale.

BAA said that is intended to return the property to private ownership if plans for a second runway were shelved. It said: "BAA has no desire to be a long-term landlord.”

BAA hoped to open a second runway in 2012 but the date of the new public enquiry has not been set and will not take place before the General Election.

The Conservative Party is against the proposal.