Farmers raise compulsory purchase concerns during Zoom seminar

Posted by LindaStenner on July 10, 2020

Farmers raise compulsory purchase concerns during Zoom seminar

July 10, 2020 at 4:27 PM

A proposed super school, new cycle paths and poor terms for telecoms masts were all concerns highlighted during an online seminar organised recently by Davis Meade Property Consultants and Farmers’ Union of Wales.

“Farmers from across Wales logged in to our seminar on compulsory purchase, thirsty for knowledge about different projects threatening their holdings,” said Eifion Bibby of Davis Meade Property Consultants.

“One farmer had been approached by his local authority about building a ‘super school’ on his land which potentially would go right across the fields and up to the farmhouse and farmyard.

“We were able to explain the compulsory powers the authority could draw on and give some practical advice about initial negotiations with the authority.”

Plans for a new cycle path were causing concern for another farm. In addition to worries regarding the actual route and responsibility for appropriate fencing and gates, other considerations would include potential loss of privacy, access, security, insurance and the possibility that leisure cyclists would want somewhere to take a break.

Telecoms masts are another worry with new agreements being offered on much poorer terms than previously.

“Cases are now being considered by the Upper Tribunal Lands Chamber which should shed more light on the valuation aspects but it’s likely to be a few more months before the decisions are available,” said Eifion.

“In the meantime maybe we should look more pragmatically at these agreements. For example, in certain circumstances, is a mast an opportunity to upgrade internet access on advantageous terms?”

Renewal of the National Grid distribution system threatened another farm, with the prospect of a temporary 1,000-metre track across the farm made up from 100 lorry loads of stone and extensive tree-felling.

Another question asked about the potential for profiteering. The questioner had in mind land bought with compulsory purchase powers then being offered on to developers for house building.

The DMPC team said that the law does not offer a watertight solution but the Crichel Down Rules may provide an answer as they relate to the later sale of land which has been compulsorily purchased. On a broader front it may be necessary to use independent ombudsman reviews and political pressure in these situations.

These questions were stimulated by DMPCs presentation on compulsory purchase and utility powers during which Eifion Bibby outlined the compensation entitlements in different circumstances while Charles Cowap, consultant to DMPC, explored procedural and taxation aspects.

“It was clear by the end of the meeting that Welsh farmers will be facing a number of challenges from compulsory purchase and infrastructure projects. Careful and well considered professional advice will be more important than ever,” Eifion added.

Caryl Roberts of FUW, had helped Eifion and Charles to organise the event for members and at the end of the meeting commented on how useful this and the previous session on Public Rights of Way had been: “This exclusive opportunity for FUW members to have an in-depth session with our land agent partners Davis Meade was very successful. Having the chance to dive into the detail of such a topic from the comfort of your sofa was greatly appreciated by the members and we are looking forward to the next seminar.”

Eifion Bibby can be contacted at the Colwyn Bay office of Davis Meade Property Consultants on telephone 01492 510360, email Eifionbibby@dmpcuk.com

 

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