When first approached by an Acquiring Authority, whether a Government Body or National / Regional Utility company, it is essential to seek professional advice from a Chartered Surveyor / Valuer no matter how insignificant it may first appear.

The Law around this topic is very complex, and your rights will depend on the severity and nature of the proposals.  Predominantly those with a legal interest in land (Landowner / Tenant) will be entitled to compensation for their reasonable losses.

Such items of compensation are Loss of Land at its current open market value where land is permanently taken for such projects as a new road, and Injurious Affection compensation for the reduction in value of your remaining land where severed.  There may be a possibility of offsetting this by way of accommodation works such as negotiating the reconnection of severed land by fencing works, access gateways or underpasses etc.  You may also be entitled to Loss Payments on top of other compensation, these are based on your rights as a landowner or occupier and set at a percentage of the claim value.

Where no land is taken the claimant may still claim for physical effects such as dust or nose.  Disturbance can be a significant element of your claim for items of loss arising directly as a result of the scheme, it’s advised the claimant keeps a diary of any item directly attributable to the scheme.  Advance payments of compensation may be made and can be 90% of the Acquiring Authority’s estimate.

You may also be eligible to compensation from works undertaken by your regional utility company, this may involve the installation of new apparatus or the renewal or maintenance of existing infrastructure.  Generally the company will take a permanent Easement or an Annual Wayleave for new infrastructure installed, as well as disturbance for items of loss the same as above.  In all cases the claimant has a duty to mitigate his loss by carrying-on with his routine farming operations.

The Acquiring Authority predominantly aim to negotiate a smooth passage of the project, however may commence the compulsory acquisition of rights in tandem with their negotiations.  Finally, it may be necessary to involve your solicitor or accountant, therefore seek early clarity and if possible an undertaking to the payment of all professional fees from the Acquiring Authority as early as possible.