Pipeline objections unwise – CLA

The 250 Welsh farmers and landowners affected by the construction of a gas pipeline should concentrate on securing the best possible compensation deal rather than opposing the plan.

The Country Land and Business Association has warned that the 48 mile long pipeline between Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire and Aberdulais in Glamorgan will go through whatever the opposition.

It claimed that it is not in the interests of individuals to try to prevent it from crossing their land.

“There is considerable anxiety about and opposition to this project, but the pipeline is a fact of life,” insisted Jonathan Andrews, the CLA’s south Wales regional director.

If opposed Transco would resort to compulsory purchase, and that in turn could produce a deal far less beneficial than the one on offer at the moment.

That said, the CLA sympathised with people whose lives would undoubtedly be hugely affected by disruption resulting from the project, and acknowledged criticism of the way Transco had conducted its dealings.

However, the company was offering enhanced payments to landowners who allowed speedy access.

The alternative was a long and stressful process of compulsory purchase, which was likely to lead to lower compensation.

Also farmers who opposed the plan would not have the protection afforded by the negotiated National Agreement if there were problems during the construction period.

“The CLA and NFU have provided a proforma and package which offers generous financial terms, the best protection we can secure through national negotiations, and the security that reasonable fees and costs will be met.

“I am advising people to get their agents to advise them how best to resolve individual issues using this as a back up.

“I cannot stress too strongly that speed is of the essence if farmers and landowners are not to suffer unnecessary hardship,” Mr Andrews added.

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