Farmers in the North affected by A5 call for fairer compensation

Farmers in the North are calling for fairer compensation rates for those affected by major road upgrade schemes such as the A5 in County Tyrone.

The Ulster Farmers Union claims local farmers are being offered compensation levels which are lower than rates offered to landowners in Great Britain affected by similar infrastructure projects.

The comments follow a meeting of UFU members who will be directly affected by the road upgrade schemes, including the A5 upgrade, which has been given the go ahead despite hundreds of objections.

The Omagh meeting following a series of discussions with the Ministers for Finance, Regional Development and Agriculture in Stormont.

UFU Deputy President Barclay Bell said a primary concern is that present compensation levels in Northern Ireland are not comparable to those in Great Britain, where landowners receive a 10% top-up on their valuation in recognition that they are not ‘willing sellers’.

The UFU is pressing for the same compensation top-up in Northern Ireland, as well as lobbying for early payment of compensation advances and other issues which will require the Land and Property Service to be properly resourced.