Landowners set for €8.5m roads payment

Michael Ring. Photo: Tom Burke
Michael Ring. Photo: Tom Burke

Martin Ryan

Landowners who lost land to compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) for road developments will benefit from a 'goodwill' payments worth up to €8.5m under a new agreement.

The payment, which is now worth €3,000 an acre, has been agreed retrospectively with farmers who had lost out on qualifying for payments from the original 'goodwill' fund..

Road schemes to benefit in the short term include the N84 Headford in Galway, N17 Ballindine in Galway, N76 Callan Road re alignment in Kilkenny, N56 Coolboy in Donegal and the upcoming Limerick-Foynes route, as well as the proposed Limerick-Cork road.

Minister of State Michael Ring last week signed the agreement for the renewed co-operation between the Transport Department, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) in respect of land compulsorily acquired or to be acquired for the development of the road network.

However, payment under the new agreement is reduced to €3,000/ac compared with €5,000/ac for the previous agreement from 2001.

IFA national chairman, Jer Bergin, said the agreement restores a fixed payment albeit at a lower rate and it streamlines the assessment process where disputes.

He added the payment would be made "retrospective and all eligible farmers who missed out on this payment will now benefit".

Land subject to CPOs will also be valued by size, location and quality.

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Under the deal, the IFA will promote full co-operation with TII, local authorities in implementing the National Roads Programme.

The landowner on receipt of at least 14 days notice will be encouraged to allow early access to land for site investigation works to identify and assess potential routes.

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