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The NFU has welcomed news that top-up payments - totalling millions of pounds - will be paid to eligible farmers in the next few days as a result of a major legal win.

Previously the RPA denied active commoners, those that farm on common land, the ability to claim for all the farmed area of a common, reserving proportions of the land for other commons right holders who were often not farmers.

The challenge was started by Minchinhampton and Rodborough commoners in 2014. The case was supported by the NFU’s Legal Assistance Scheme (LAS) throughout and the members have been advised by Loxley Solicitors.

Peter Gardiner for the Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commoners said: “It is really good news that it looks like our claim will be finally settled, though ‘the ink is not yet dry’. The extra money will make a big difference to the management of our commons and we hope it will have a similar effect elsewhere. It has been a long and bumpy track since 2005 when this all started and we would never have made it without the support of NFU, the Legal Assistance Scheme and Loxley Solicitors.”

NFU LAS chairman Trevor Foss said: “It is great news that our members are finally going to be paid after a long battle fought by the NFU and supported by its Legal Assistance Scheme funding, without which our members would not have been able to take on this case. This highlights once again the strength of the NFU and its LAS and also the need for Farmer and Grower members to ensure they are in fact paying the extra £33 for their LAS subscription in order to benefit from this unique scheme which offers real value for money.”