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CLA attacks HS2 plans as ‘unfair’
THE Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has attacked the Department of Transport’s proposed package of measures for HS2 compensation as “simply not fair or generous”.
The association said the proposals fell far short of its expectation for a comprehensive property bond scheme that addresses householders, farmers, landlords and all rural business Transport Minister Simon Burns had promised “fair and generous” compensation for land affected by HS2, but the CLA said the current consultation was still ignoring important sectors.
Dorothy Fairburn, CLA North regional director, said: “The proposals are helpful for those wholly in safeguarded areas, and for those who can demonstrate statutory blight. However, this represents only a small proportion of all those truly affected.
“It is only small businesses with an arbitrary rateable value of under £34,000 who will take comfort from this package of measures.
“This leaves medium-sized businesses outside the safeguarded zone with no additional help at times when they need to be growing their business and considering structural changes due to HS2.
“The proposals also fall short of what is required to give agriculture and businesses that lease out property any certainty over the future proposals.”
The CLA said it was surprised that the Government still appeared “hesitant” to address the issues.
Miss Fairburn said: “Our members need to know how much property will be taken, when it will be taken, and the compensation they will receive – on all of these nothing is much clearer.”
- The CLA has also criticised Defra’s refusal to ban sky lanterns, claiming the decision was based on an “inconclusive and unsatisfactory”
report by agriculture and environment agency Adas, which failed to recognise the true scale of their threat to livestock and the environment.
Harry Cotterell, CLA president, said: “Defra is under the impression that the main risk posed by sky lanterns is to aircraft. In fact, there is plenty of evidence these flying bonfires are damaging property and crops and harming and killing cattle.
“Even the Adas report concluded that ‘the fire risk associated with the use of sky lanterns is significant’.
“It reported about 16 cases of injury or death to cattle, sheep or horses and admitted there may be a ‘significant level of under-reporting by veterinary surgeons and others’ – yet this inconclusive and unsatisfactory report still concluded the impact on livestock was very small.”
Mr Cotterell called on Defra to take their call for a ban seriously and urged farmers and landowners not to allow the lanterns to be used on their land.
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