UFU meet minister on road developments

Pictured following the meeting to discuss road developments is; Barclay Bell, UFU deputy president, minister Michelle McIlveen and Wesley Aston, UFU chief executive.
Pictured following the meeting to discuss road developments is; Barclay Bell, UFU deputy president, minister Michelle McIlveen and Wesley Aston, UFU chief executive.

The Ulster Farmers Union has told the roads minister, Michelle McIlveen, it welcomes the accelerated passage of legislation for the ten per cent top-up compensation for road schemes. This has been agreed by the Executive and should be in place as new legislation by June.

Speaking after the meeting UFU deputy president, Barclay Bell said this was welcome because road developments often leave farmers facing major disruption.

“The UFU has been lobbying for some time for the best possible level of compensation. We have now reached an agreement we believe will more fairly compensate affected land owners,” he said.

At the meeting the UFU raised concern about transparency and communication with affected landowners regarding the A5 road development. The UFU also reiterated the need for accurate Agricultural Impact Assessments.

“We would like to see better communication with those who will be directly impacted by decisions about the A5 and other road schemes. It’s important agricultural impact assessments accurately reflect the level of disruption farmers will have to endure,” said Mr Bell.

The Union has welcomed an acknowledgement by the minister that Roads Service must work constructively with landowners.

“A better working relationship with those affected by developments will aid decision making. It will also help officials understand better how proposed developments impact those whose businesses will be affected,” said Mr Bell.

The UFU also used the meeting to raise concerns about the proposed Hillsborough weight limit and its potential impact on the agricultural community.

“We are pleased the minister has taken our concerns about this on board,” said Mr Bell.