My land is being acquired for road widening – what can I do?
Property Clinic: You should seek early engagement with your local authority
Local authorities may acquire lands for road works by voluntary agreement and this is typically suited to smaller schemes
My land is being acquired for road widening purposes – what can I do?
Local authorities continuously monitor accident statistics for roads under their control. Areas with a high propensity for road traffic accidents will prompt local authority road improvements, often involving the repositioning of junctions or the improvement of sight-lines for which land acquisition is necessary.
For larger projects, local authorities funded by Transport Infrastructure Ireland, will determine the need for town bypasses, road widening schemes or the creation of entirely new road corridors all to reduce in-town traffic congestion or to improve inter-city connectivity.
When your lands are required for road improvements or for road construction purposes, your first step is to seek early engagement with the local authority roads department. Early engagement is vital, as it offers you the opportunity to understand the proposed road scheme and to mitigate those scheme impacts so it has the least possible impact on your property or land holding.
Local authorities may acquire lands for road works by voluntary agreement and this is typically suited to smaller schemes. Larger schemes are best dealt with in the first instance by way of compulsory purchase order. Once the local authority commits to the scheme property owners should seek out a suitable qualified professional to deal with both the negotiation of accommodation works and with the negotiations of a compensation settlement.
Accommodation works is a term applied to works which the local authority undertakes to mitigate the scheme impact on your land or property. Accommodation works will be appropriate to the circumstances and may include the provision of underpasses or stock pens in a farming context or the reinstatement of boundary walls, hedging or the provision of a soft landscaping allowance in a residential context.
The entitlement to compensation will typically allow for claims under three headings: a) the value of the land taken, b) the disturbance caused to the lands by the scheme, and c) the effect of the severance on the retained lands as well as the extent of injurious affection on the retained lands.
Severance and injurious affection are calculated as the reduction in value of the retained lands, this figure is added to the other heads of claim to give a total claim sum.
In summary, when faced with the prospect of a road widening scheme, engage early with the local authority and appoint an agent experienced in dealing with land acquisition claims to represent your interests.
John Corridan of Corridan & Associates auctioneers practises in the area of land acquisition claims. He is a member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland. scsi.ie