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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-16-09

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

Local News Report  - Mobile Page


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 North.  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The CLA is also concerned that home owners in areas where flood defences are being withdrawn may have their properties classified as at:- "serious risk of flooding," which would adversely affect their insurance and property value.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 defences.


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