With plans underway for a new bypass at Banwell in North Somerset, what should property owners who might be affected by the scheme consider?

The government’s has an ambitious investment strategy to increase the capacity and improve the condition of our infrastructure.

For property owners, farmers and landowners who will be directly affected either via the compulsory acquisition of land and or the depreciation in value of their property, it is essential to understand what they are entitled to.

Matt Brown of Savills said: “Any property owners who lose land under a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) might be surprised to know that the compensation due extends much further than simply the loss of land.

"Claimants may also claim for other factors which may incur a direct cost, or cause a depreciation in the value of their property.”

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For example where a new road intersects a corner of a farm or parcel of land one might expect to claim for the following:

  • The value of land taken. This is assessed at market value, assuming the scheme did not exist
  • Land now “severed” by the road which may have lost value due to its separation from the main holding
  • Reduced farming efficiency of the holding due to size and shape of fields affected by the new road
  • Road noise and its impact on the value of the holding
  • Costs incurred due to road diversions and difficulty accessing land whilst the works are undertaken
  • Loss of crops and any future reduction in yields on the land that was taken
  • Losses to commercial enterprises. Rural businesses are inherently diverse, and claims might include impacts on commercial sporting activities, or tourist attractions.
  • Landowners time
  • All reasonable fees incurred by the landowners agent

It is also possible to make a claim for reduction in property value when no land is taken, if the property is affected by noise pollution, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke, artificial light and the discharge onto land of any solid or liquid substances.

“The proposed bypass should result in an improvement in pollution and reduction of traffic within the village of Banwell, and it is intended there will be employment benefits of a new school. Nonetheless individuals and businesses can be seriously affected and a proper understanding of the potential compensation is important if they are not to lose out.

“In addition to the expected items of claim, landowners should be discussing practical matters such as timing of entry and accommodation works. The local authority are looking to meet affected parties in the coming weeks. We are representing a number of clients and encourage anyone affected to contact us to discuss further.”