The NFU has today expressed disappointment that its concerns for those members along the proposed HS2 construction route are still not being heard.
The comments come on the back of an announcement made earlier this week stating that a motion has been laid in Parliament instructing the HS2 Select Committee to consider more than 120 changes the Government wishes to make to the HS2 hybrid Bill.
NFU President Meurig Raymond wrote to HS2 in April stating that assurances given to NFU did not go far enough to be meaningful for those farmers affected by the major infrastructure project. Despite this, the government are pushing full steam ahead with proposals.
While the NFU welcomes the fact that the Government is listening to communities along the HS2 route, Mr Raymond said: “The NFU has still not had a response to our concerns, which is extremely disappointing. We will be following up with the HS2 Select Committee on the lack of response on a number of our petitioning points which were raised last November in front of the House of Commons Select Committee and again in our letter to HS2 in April.
“It is essential, that once the construction of the line has been completed, farm businesses are left in a strong, viable condition and land can still be farmed productively.
“We are specifically calling for farmers to be able to relocate agricultural buildings and farmhouses and so far the assurances do not meet the need for replacement buildings outside the High Speed Rail Bill limits and the need for permitted development rights to be granted.
“The NFU has also been pushing for a ‘duty of care’ to all farmers impacted, which includes HS2 being liable for the actions of their contractors and sub-contractors, but the assurances given so far do not go far enough. Amongst other things, the NFU has been calling for a substantial programme of appropriate accommodation works to minimise the long term impacts on businesses.
“HS2 must maintain a regular and honest consultation with farmers and growers throughout the project.”
Notes to editors:
•Find out how one farm will be affected by HS2 by watching the video below:
HS2 to decimate Packington Moor Farm
• To embed the video on your website, use this code: <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/DK-vONIgIh0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>