Farm Ireland

Wednesday 13 December 2017

'Windfall days are over' as CPO payments plunge

Martin Ryan

Payments to farmers for land taken under Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO) have plunged, farm consultants have warned.

Local authorities have re-assessed valuations following the collapse in development land prices.

As a result, ground adjacent to towns which is being acquired for road development is now being valued at farmland price levels.

This means that property which was worth between €100,000 and €200,000/ac during the boom is now priced at €12,000-15,000/ac.

Farmers have been told by consultants advising on CPO land acquisitions that the "windfall days" were over.

Agricultural consultants negotiating deals on behalf of farmers are also advising clients to conclude negotiations earlier rather than later to secure payment this year.

Westmeath-based agricultural consultant Ned Nagle pointed out that the climate for doing deals with the local authorities had changed completely.


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"Farmers are now lucky if they get half what was being paid a few years ago. Many are losing a lot more. The only payment that has not been cut is the goodwill allowance, which is still at €5,000/ac," Mr Nagle said.

"There is a base price now of about €12,000/ac or a little more depending on the circumstances. That was set at €25,000/ac."

"Compensation for severance is back at least 60pc and land in the vicinity of towns which previously qualified for compensation for loss of development potential is down to 10pc of its previous value," he added.

"I'm finding that there is an acceptance by farmers that they won't get the compensation that was previously paid. They are facing the reality of the situation.

"They see that land is back, in the same way that house prices have fallen, and negotiations are being completed for a lot less," Mr Nagle claimed.

Farmers are facing further losses due to the increase in capital gains tax (CGT) from 20pc to 25pc in the last budget.

"My job is to try and get the best return I can for the farmer. I have always done that, but the situation is very different now to what it was at the height of the boom years," he said.

Irish Independent

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