The CLA’s 2017 Kent Debate focused on the impact of major infrastructure and development on rural Kent and the need for reforms to compulsory purchase laws.

Held at Hadlow College, the debate was sponsored by Kent law firm Brachers and chaired by Allan Buckwell, Emeritus Professor of Agricultural Economics, Imperial College and Chairman of the CLA’s Kent branch.

In his introduction, CLA President Ross Murray, said that it was particularly appropriate to hold a debate on compulsory purchase issues in Kent, as the lessons learnt from the development of HS1 in the county had informed much of the CLA’s subsequent lobbying on behalf of those affected by HS2 and other major infrastructure projects since then.

The key messages from the debate were:
• There is going to be much more development for housing and associated infrastructure in Kent over the next fifteen years.
• This development will put huge pressures on the environment and nature that need to be taken seriously.
• The process is getting more complex not easier from a landowner perspective with increasing demands on land and growing threats of compulsory purchase.
• There is a need for better dialogue but there are also opportunities to take a new approach to valuing land and reduce the adversarial element of compulsory purchase.

To read a copy of the summary report on the debate, click here