The NFU welcomes the government’s key objectives to make the compulsory purchase regime clearer, fairer and faster. This is particularly needed for landowners and occupiers who lose land to developments, including large-scale infrastructure projects such as HS2,and find that the viability of their agricultural businesses has been impacted. There have to be safeguards in place to protect landowners’ rights during the process of compulsory purchase.
The government proposals put forward in this consultation will make the system clearer, faster and fairer with the aim of bringing forward more brownfield land for development. The NFU supports this broad aim.
We believe that the proposed system should encourage acquiring authorities to take a more positive negotiating stance towards achieving the acquisition of land by agreement. This is not the case at the present time. In the majority of cases our experience with NFU members affected by big infrastructure schemes, has been that acquiring authorities are not even entering into meaningful negotiations let alone reaching an agreement.