The government has just published its response to a technical consultation it carried out earlier this year on the compulsory purchase process.
NFU head of policy services, Andrea Graham, said: “The government has adopted the NFU’s recommendation for a standardised claim form for both compensation claims and for advanced payments, providing greater consistency and hopefully enabling a more streamlined process in negotiating and settling compensation claims.
“It also agreed with our suggestion that the level of interest for late payments of compensation should be tied to the Bank of England base rate. However, it did not accept our proposal for a higher prescribed rate for 4%, which would have been above the base rate, settling instead for 2%.
“The consultation has decided to extend the time period allowed to implement a compulsory purchase order in the event of a legal challenge, essentially ‘stopping the clock’ for a maximum period of one year. This is something the NFU supported and believe is essential as it will allow landowners some certainty going forward.
“However, the NFU remains concerned that government will extend powers of entry to all enquiring authorities and the notice periods will only be 14 days. The NFU was looking for 28 days and recommended that a consideration payment should be made for this access as well as compensation for crop loss.
“We’ve already seen how the number of surveys associated with major infrastructure projects such as HS2 can be significant and disruptive to day to day farm business activity, even on a single holding. This is something we will continue to pursue on behalf of our members.”