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Fisher German Comment: farmers and landowners should prepare for rail upgrades25th July 2012

Following the recently announced £9.4 billion railway upgrades across England and Wales, farmers and landowners along the routes must consider the proposals and how they may affect their property in the near future.

The advice comes from land agent Jonathan Perks of Fisher German in Banbury. He and his team have worked extensively with landowners affected by similar projects such as HS2, Evergreen 3 and the Nottingham Express Transit extension, which have included the compulsory purchase of land and other issues.

“People living along the routes should obtain professional advice if their land or property is likely to be affected so that they receive appropriate compensation. The plans unveiled so far do not go into the details of construction; however it is likely that there will be land take, most notably where new lines are constructed.

“Compulsory purchase may be enforced where re-opening and upgrading of lines leads to level crossings being replaced by bridges, which has already been outlined in the detailed plans for the Oxford – Bicester Evergreen 3 project. Compulsory purchase may also be required for the raising of bridges for electrification and installation of overhead catenary masts where this is outside of existing railway ownership. There is also likely to be a requirement for construction access from adjacent land.”

The published proposals, which include an element of already announced improvements, are as follows;

  • Upgrading / re-opening and electrification of the Oxford – Bicester – Milton Keynes – Bedford railway, including a link south to Aylesbury
  • Creation of an ‘Electric Spine’ from Southampton to The North, through electrification of Southampton Port – Basingstoke – Reading – Oxford – Bedford and Oxford – Banbury - Leamington – Coventry – Nuneaton
  • Electrification of the Bedford – Nottingham, Derby – Sheffield and Kettering - Corby lines
  • Electrification of the London Paddington – Bristol – Cardiff – Swansea main line
  • Creation of a new railway from the west, linking the Bristol – London Paddington line to Heathrow Airport (subject to a satisfactory business case, with construction likely to extend past 2019)
  • Electrification of Thames Valley lines Acton – Willesden, Slough – Windsor, Maidenhead – Marlow and Twyford – Henley
  • Electrification from Walsall to Rugeley
  • Electrification of Manchester – Huddersfield – Leeds – York
  • Electrification of Micklefield – Selby
  • Electrification of the Welsh Valley lines emanating from Cardiff

“While it is too early to consider the details of the announced schemes, the proposed works are for the 2014 – 2019 period in order to increase capacity ahead of the construction of HS2. It should not therefore be long before more detailed proposals are made available to affected landowners.”

Tags: CommentRural

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