HS2 train at Platform

NFU petition on HS2 Phase 2b gets hearing at Select Committee

NFU has petitioned MP’s on HS2 Phase 2b in a Select Committee hearing, which took place in London earlier this week.

The session was designed to provide NFU the opportunity to raise issues for any of the agricultural sectors affected by the proposed line from Crewe to Manchester.

NFU had multiple issues raised in the evidence session and included:

  • Inappropriate use of compulsory purchase powers
  • How HS2 needs to do more design work before they take all land permanently, so that if land can only be taken on a temporary basis or only rights are required that this is done
  • Not to use compulsory purchase powers to take land for biodiversity net gain
  • Only taking rights for utility diversions rather than acquiring the land
  • Plans to show land taken within notices where land is taken permanently to show the ownership of one farming business.

The issues were raised by NFU senior rural surveyor, Louise Staples and James Findlay, KC.

Staples said: "We highlighted to the Committee how farmers and growers along phases 1 and 2a of the route have been treated by HS2 Ltd and the disruption caused to their farming businesses.

"For example, many of our members have suffered long delays to compensation being paid and an abuse of compulsory purchase powers. This has led to mounting financial pressures as well as worry, anxiety and stress, with some farmers even considering their future in the farming sector.

"While the NFU recognises the importance of investing in the nation’s transport infrastructure, it is essential Britain’s food and farming businesses are left in a strong, viable condition where land can still be farmed productively, and that HS2 Ltd provides far greater clarity as the project and work on phase 2b continues.”

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