Compensation claims system not easy says surveyor

Posted by LindaStenner on November 22, 2018

Compensation claims system not easy says surveyor

November 22, 2018 at 3:47 PM

The Welsh Assembly is investigating its compensation claim system for land and property affected by public works and called in the expertise of Shropshire land agent Philip Meade of Davis Meade Property Consultants at Oswestry to give evidence at the Senedd  Economy Infrastructure and Skills Committee.

One of three panellists addressing the committee, Philip Meade was invited due to his extensive experience in recent years representing farmers and landowners affected by the Newtown bypass and other schemes.  He also represented the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors of which he is a fellow.

The chairman of the Senedd committee Russell George asked the panel what they thought of the current Compulsory Purchase system in Wales.  Philip Meade said from the claimants’ side of the fence all claimants need significant amounts of assistance professionally as there is a real minefield to deal with.

“Having been involved in the Newtown bypass the process of compulsory purchase can take three to four years and it is still not over when the bypass is finished as there will be at least another year of compensation claims,” he said.

“There will also be what is known as Part One claims for people who haven't lost land due to the bypass construction but were affected by the bypass, such as because it runs in front of their house, “ said Philip, who has represented farmers on several major road projects including the Anglesey A55 trunk road.

He said the compensation claim system was complex and difficult because the various parties have different goals: “The people building the road, the contractors, want it completed as quick as possible while claimants generally accept that it needs to be built, but with minimal disruption and disturbance.” he said “very often this is where the tensions arise”

The compensation rate payable to farmers and other property owners losing land is based on market value and often that does not feel sufficient or fair because market value assumes a willing seller.

“For example a farmer may lose, say, 20 acres in the middle of his farm and receive only agricultural value. No farmer would want to sell 20 acres in the middle of his farm yet the statute only allows for market value. There are also payments for severance but this rarely really puts the landowner back in the same position as he was before.

“There needs to be more understanding and a softer approach between parties,” he said.

Farmers who feel they aren’t being compensated sufficiently will want to appeal, yet there are also issues with the appeals procedure in that it is not easy.

“Landowners expectations are often higher than land value so they think they aren't getting what the land is worth and almost from the outset they will want to appeal , hoping to increase the value of the land, but once you get to the appeal process the cost and risk is prohibitive as the route at the moment is through the Upper Tribunal,” he said.

Mr Meade suggested that appeals would be more accessible if there was a Small Claim Court for Compulsory Purchase Orders: “A  Small Claims Court for, say, claims under £20,000, would hoover up a lot of claim problems and allow claimants to argue their case in front of an unbiased forum and have their day in court,” he told the committee. 

Although there is a system allowing land and property owners to claim professional fees for advice over compensations, there is no support when it comes to disputing a claim. 

He suggested that other methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution could also be helpful and this can often be funded by both sides but at far less cost and risk than the Upper Tribunal. 

The other two panellist at the committee on October 11 were Paul Wheeldon, County Surveyors Society, and Roisin Willmott, Royal Town Planning Institute. 

For more information contact Philip Meade at DMPC, Oswestry on 01691 659658 or email



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