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The road to compensation

Landowners affected by major road schemes should seek professional advice, says Richard Haggart.

A number of ambitious infrastructure projects are currently being undertaken across the UK. 

These include upgrading the A9 between Perth and Inverness to dual carriageway – due to be completed by 2025 – the dualling of the A96 between Aberdeen and Inverness and major upgrades to the A69, a trans-Pennine route in the North of England. 

These schemes will bring many benefits for road users, communities and businesses, but they will also cause major disruption and long-term problems for those in their path. As a firm we have many years’ experience of offering advice to property owners affected by such schemes, and we are acting for a number of owners and occupiers impacted by the A9 and A96 schemes. We have successfully negotiated compensation claims with the highway authority for ground investigations and land-take valuations as part of the compulsory purchase order (CPO) process. 

Landowners and occupiers can obtain advice on crop loss and access arrangements at the relevant highway authority’s expense. 

Over and above the negotiations with the highway authority (Transport Scotland, north of the Border) there may also be opportunities for landowners and occupiers of land neighbouring the CPO area to benefit from agreements with the successful contractor for a variety of uses such as temporary compounds, topsoil stores, turning circles, mineral extraction for aggregates and creation of temporary sites for workforce accommodation. Rents for temporary sites can be very attractive, but provision must be made for items such as reinstatement at the end of the agreement. 

Galbraith has experience in negotiation with a variety of contractors and third parties on a wide range of additional land uses and access rights. Our Geographic Information System (GIS), provides us with a database of short term land rental agreements and temporary compound rates, giving us a strong negotiating position with third parties.