CLA East Regional Surveyor Tim Woodward
Across the CLA’s East of England region, over twenty major infrastructure works are proposed or currently in train. These include pipelines, electricity cable routes, power generation, and road widening schemes.
In Norfolk, for example, a project known as Norfolk Vanguard is going to bring electricity from a huge offshore wind farm in the North Sea, and in Lincolnshire, Viking Link will provide a connection enabling electricity to be brought under the sea from Denmark.
Major road widening schemes, such as the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement Scheme, and the Norwich Northern Distributor Road, together with proposals to widen stretches of the A12 in Essex, will affect farmers and landowners.
The arrival of HS2 will involve the compulsory purchase of land belonging to some CLA members in Nottinghamshire. On a recent visit to Sizewell B nuclear power station, CLA members heard about EDF’s plans for Sizewell C, its replacement, which if implemented, will have a significant impact, both positive and negative, on a large area of east Suffolk.
CLA staff in the regional office have had meetings with representatives of the companies responsible for the implementation of some of these projects, and will continue to try to ensure that members are consulted formally, and in good time, about any projects that may affect them.
The CLA accepts the need for the implementation of much of this infrastructure, to ensure a vibrant economy, but is concerned about the impact of the works on farmers, landowners, and rural businesses. The CLA has successfully campaigned for clearer and fairer compensation for affected landowners, including an increased interest rate on late compensation payments.
CLA staff are not able to negotiate heads of terms, details of routes followed, and levels of compensation due to affected members, but may be able to give advice on the principles involved, and the processes that should be followed. Reasonable professional fees, for the services of land agents, valuers, and solicitors, are normally paid by the organisations or agencies acquiring land or rights over or under land, and the Regional Office is able to help members in finding this help and support if required.