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Farmland should be abandoned to the sea

06 August 1998
‘Farmland should be abandoned to the sea’

LOW-LYING farmland should be abandoned to the sea and priority given to protecting towns and cities, say MPs. …more…

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Farmland should be abandoned to the sea

06 August 1998
‘Farmland should be abandoned to the sea’

LOW-LYING farmland should be abandoned to the sea and priority given to protecting towns and cities, say MPs.

A report released by the all-party Agriculture Select Committee says taxpayers money should not be wasted on trying to protect low-lying farmland from flooding.

The MPs recommend a policy of “managed realignment” under which sea walls and other defences would be abandoned in some areas, mainly farmland in South-east England.

This would allow the sea to establish a new shoreline further inland, where rising ground could provide a natural barrier.

There would be “suitable compensation arrangements” for farmers who lost land.

Ian Gardiner, director of policy at the National Farmers Union, was against the proposal. He said: “We think the MPs have seriously oversimplified the issue. Much of that land is used for horticulture which has an extensive associated industry for packaging and distribution.”

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