UFU holds A5 road meeting for members
Thursday, 9 May, 2013
The Ulster Farmers’ Union hosted a meeting in Omagh for members affected by the A5 road project. The UFU invited representatives from Road Service and DARD to answer members’ questions and to clarify issues in relation to the A5 project which was recently quashed in court.
UFU Deputy President Barclay Bell said; “Despite a decision finally being made on the A5 road project, many of our members are still feeling frustrated. It has taken years to get to this point; however the situation is still far from clear cut. Ownership of the land that had previously been vested for the A5 has now returned to the original owner but our members still have a number of questions that need answered. At the meeting, Road Service and DARD addressed a number of key issues such as the reinstatement of land, adequate support on the ground from relevant departments, associated compensation, and single farm payment applications.
“These farm businesses have been through enough and the Union will continue to push Road Service and DARD to ensure that these matters are dealt with quickly and effectively. Rightly, many have concerns about their single farm payment application. These farmers have been forced into a situation beyond their control and we have stressed to DARD that these farmers should be looked on favourably when it comes to their processing single farm payment applications in a timely manner.
“The issue of vesting compensation however, remains the biggest issue by far. The UFU has always called for Northern Ireland to offer a compensation package for vested land that is comparable to that of Great Britain. I firmly believe that if farmers and landowners had been offered a fair compensation package for their land in the first place, we wouldn’t be in the situation we are now. The Union will continue to push the Department of Regional Development and the Finance Minister Sammy Wilson on this issue and work to ensure that farmers in Northern Ireland are offered fair compensation for any land vested for any roads project in the future.”
The Ulster Farmers’ Union will be meeting with the NI Assembly’s Regional Development Committee next week to discuss the issue of compensation further.