Compulsory purchase issues raised during Zoom seminar

I WAS delighted to welcome FUW members to anevening Zoom seminar when

farmers from across Wales logged in, thirsty for knowledge abou t different projects threatening their holdings.

One farmer had beenapproached by his local au thority abou t bu ilding a ‘su per school’ onhis land. If it goes ahead the

new school wou ld come right across the field s and u p to the farmhou se and

farmyard. Detail was highlighted of the compu lsory powers the

au thority cou ld draw on, together with some practical

ad vice abou t initial negotiations with the au thority.

Plans for a new cycle path were cau sing concernfor another farm. Inadditionto worries regarding the actu al rou te

and responsibility for appropriate fencing and gates, key considerations here wou ld inclu de potential loss of privacy, access, secu rity, insu rance and the possibility that leisu re cyclists wou ld want somewhere to take a break.

Telecoms masts are a worry with new agreements being offered onmu ch poorer terms thanpreviou sly. Cases are now being considered by the Upper Tribu nal Lands Chamber which shou ld shed more light onthe valu ationaspects bu t it’s likely to be a few more months before the decisions are available. Pending that shou ld we be looking more pragmatically at these agreements? For example, incertaincircu mstances, is a mast anopportu nity to u pgrad e internet access onad vantageou s terms?

Renewal of the National Grid distribu tionsystem threatened another farm, with the prospect of a temporary 1,000‐metre track across the farm made u p from 100 lorry loads of stone and extensive tree‐felling.

Another qu estionasked was abou t the potential for profiteering. The qu estioner had inmind land bou ght with compu lsory pu rchase powers thenbeing offered on to d evelopers for hou se bu ild ing.

It was considered that the law does not offer a watertight solu tionbu t the Crichel DownRu les may provide an answer as they relate to the later sale of land which has beencompu lsorily
pu rchased. Ona broader front it
may be necessary to u se
ind epend ent ombu d sman
reviews and political pressu re in
these situ ations.

These qu estions were
stimu lated by ou r
presentationoncompu lsory
pu rchase and u tility powers
d u r i ng w h i c h I o u t l i ne d t h e
compensationentitlements indifferent circu mstances while Charles Cowap, consu ltant to DMPC, explored procedu ral and taxationaspects.

It was clear by the end of the meeting that Welsh farmers will be facing a nu mber of challenges from compu lsory pu rchase and infrastru ctu re projects. Carefu l and well consid ered professional advice will be more important thanever.

Eifion Bibby can be contacted at the Colwyn Bay office of Davis Meade Property Consultants on telephone 0 1 4 9 2 5 1 0 3 6 0 , email eifionbibby@dmpcuk.com

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