West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Mc Aleer welcomes progress of Land Compensation Bill

Published: 10 February, 2016

West Tyrone MLA Declan Mc Aleer has welcomed the decision of DRD Minister Michelle Mc Ilveen to introduce the Land Acquisition and Compensation (Amendment) Bill. If implemented, the new policy would entitle land owners who have their land vested to an additional 10% compensation payment. This is the current position in England and Wales.

The DRD Minister hopes to secure Executive approval for accelerated passage of the scheme which could reach the final stage on 15th March 2016.

Mr Mc Aleer said "The current system is unfair to people whose land has been vested and does not take into account the loss experienced by farmers who have taken land in conacre. Also, the current Farm Loss Payment scheme only operates when there is an entire farm vested.

"During a recent exchange with senior officials at the DRD committee they confirmed that the compensation will normally go to the person who is actively farming the land and has a 'qualifying interest'. In the case of land taken in conacre, the conacre agreement must be for at least one year for the active farmer to qualify.

"Given that the recent budget identified a number of key flagship projects to advance over the next number of years, the introduction of this amendment is timely and is an acknowledgement of the impact that vesting orders can have on people's lives".