The CLA has urged those affected by the devastation caused by Storm Arwen to claim compensation under ‘force majeure’ terms and conditions.
Storm Arwen had an enormous toll on buildings, some of which are listed, farm structures such as walls and fences, with a subsequent loss of earnings for farm businesses. The impact was also borne by hospitality and tourism sector, many of which are based in the countryside.
Some farms are reporting as having lost as many as 1,000 trees with the Forestry Commission estimating that thousands of hectares have been impacted representing something in the region (North East, Cumbria and Scotland) of perhaps a million cubic metres of timber.
Those who have suffered storm damage caused by Storm Arwen will be unable to meet some of the requirements for government schemes and are encouraged to contact the authority managing particular schemes. Authorities would include the Rural Payments Agency, the Forestry Commission and Natural England.
These authorities should be contacted as soon as possible with evidence of the damage, particularly since some schemes have a 15-day deadline – details of which are included in the terms and conditions of specific grant schemes under ‘force majeure’.
CLA North Rural Adviser Jane Harrison said: “Following the devastation of Storm Arwen, it is only now that rural businesses can assess and cost associated with this storm. It is paramount that those affected contact their insurers and grant giving authorities with evidence of damage such as pictures, and estimated losses. Quite often there is a very short period within which claims can be submitted.”
Earlier this month, the CLA called on Government to develop an Emergency Recovery Scheme similar to those created in the aftermath of other natural events such as flooding. Such a scheme could help rural communities bounce back more quickly after storms.