Legal win for farmer in landmark flooding case

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Yorkshire farmer Robert Lindley has received thousands of pounds of compensation with the support of the NFU and NFU Mutual after his local authority pumped flood water into a nearby watercourse badly damaging his carrot crop.

NFU member Mr Lindley suffered the damage on his farm in Burton Fleming, Yorkshire, when the area was flooded in December 2012-January 2013. After a three day hearing, a tribunal on January 13 2016 awarded Mr Lindley compensation in the first case under the Land Drainage Act 1991 making it a landmark case.

NFU Director of Policy Andrew Clark said: “We are very pleased it was decided that the authority should compensate Mr Lindley. It demonstrates the need for the flood authorities to be aware of the consequences of actively flooding farmland when carrying out flood risk management.

“It’s really vital to consider that many fields are used for food production and are the most important part of a farm business. The NFU is committed to supporting members affected by flooding issues.”

“Mr Lindley was represented by counsel, Mr John Bates of Old Square Chambers, together with Emma Morris from NFU Legal Panel firm Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors. The NFU Legal Assistance Scheme is proud to be able to provide this service to members.”

Mr Lindley said: “We are happy with this judgment and sincerely hope that all relevant agencies and authorities work together in flooding situations to improve flood defences and how they deal with heavy rainfall situations. I have the deepest sympathy for farmers across the country affected by flooding.”

“We would like to thank our legal team, the NFU and its Legal Assistance Scheme, the NFU Mutual and DAS Legal Expenses Insurance for their support and help over the last three years.”

Tim Price, NFU Mutual Rural Affairs Specialist, said: “We’re pleased that Mr Lindley’s DAS legal expenses cover provided by NFU Mutual’s farm insurance helped him to win compensation.”