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22 May 2014 05:53:29|Rural Life,News

Farmers forced to petition HS2 Bill for fair treatment


Time is running out for hundreds of farmers and landowners forced to petition Parliament over the HS2 Hybrid Bill, according to the Country Land and Business Association.

The organisation said the concerns of those directly affected by the high speed rail scheme have been neglected by HS2 Ltd and left them with no choice but to petition before the 23 May deadline.

CLA President Henry Robinson said: “If HS2 had simply taken the time to communicate properly with landowners, ways of mitigating the impact of railway could have been found and costly petitioning avoided.

“Instead, questions over the impact of the scheme remain outstanding after many months, and in some cases years, leaving landowners with no degree of certainty and in most cases, inadequate compensation.

“While the Environmental Statement could have offered a solution, it has made the impact worse by arbitrarily taking even more land than necessary.”

The CLA said despite meeting HS2 Ltd and Transport Minister Patrick McLoughlin several times, many matters of concern remain unaddressed.

CLA Chief Surveyor Andrew Shirley said: “Landowners now have to rely on Parliament to devote a huge amount of time to remedy issues that could have been dealt with many months ago.

“Properly planned efficient land take should replace large scale acquisition if businesses severed by the railway are to continue to operate using bridges, underpasses, drainage, and ducting for services.

“HS2 is described as a modern transport phenomenon, yet Victorian concepts are being used to deliver it. Proper communication and planning could have achieved the right outcome for all.”

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