Water Bill could be costly
for farmers, warns CLA
UK farmers and landowners along main
river banks could find themselves being sued whenever a neighbouring property
floods unless there are changes to the Government's Water Bill says the CLA in
The Association says that the Bill as it is currently drafted could leave owners
exposed to claims for damage and nuisance through no fault of their own.
CLA North Regional Director of Policy and Public Affairs Douglas Chalmers said:-
"This is an unintended and unfair consequence of the Bill and the
Government must take this opportunity to put it right. The Environment Agency is
dealing with reduced budgets by withdrawing from long standing flood defence
commitments, effectively passing on the cost and responsibility to farmers and
landowners, who could then face legal claims from the owners of adjoining
properties in the event of flooding."
The CLA is also concerned that home owners in areas where flood defences are
being withdrawn may have their properties classified as at:- "serious risk of
flooding," which would adversely affect their insurance and property value.
Mr Chalmers added:- "We don't believe that that Government foresaw this
development of common law which disproportionately affects farmers and
landowners whose land happens to lie along the course of a river."
The CLA is calling on the Government to include a new clause in the Bill to
limit the liability in private nuisance for a riparian owner when the
Environment Agency or relevant authority withdraws from maintaining flood