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NGC are reported as saying they have local access arrangements agreed. Not so, say the land agents. The landowners have the upper hand here. NGC need their agreement to the precise access routes and arrangements when it is over their land. The agents say NGC is not offering sensible compensation to the landowners.
Where NGC seeks access through one grantor's land to gain access to its works on another, they are only offering 300 pounds to the first landowner.
Many local details are not agreed. This is separate from the highway verge crossings which go to Hambleton DC and NYCC, though many of them are also not agreed.
NGC are reported as offering distinct rates for the time of landowners and agents. The rate for landowners is 20 pounds per hour, and for agents is a professional rate of 65 pounds per hour (in at least one case, some say more). NGC has said it can not vary the rate from one landowner to another, so the only way of improving the rate would be to do so for all. As landowners are often professional estate managers or members of other professions, and they must consider things they would otherwise appoint a professional land agent to do, it seems only fair that they should get equal rates with the agents.
Landowners on the existing 400kV line, where NGC has a wayleave rather than a permanent easement, have the option of terminating the wayleave with 6 months notice. This would allow them to negotiate a more realistic and modern rental, noting comparisons with telecoms masts.
Sec of State's permission for work to start on the development does not give NGC the right to access on landowners' land - that still has to be negotiated.
While the tree replanting scheme has been agreed by Sec of State, there are serious questions it raises, since it does not satisfy the stated Reason. Anne McIntosh MP is following this up with further questions for Energy Minister Helen Liddell, though replies may be slow in the summer recess. Landowners do not have to agree any particular replanting, it is for NGC to negotiate. So far we have not heard of any offer by NGC to pay compensation for land surrendered for replanting - please keep us informed of any such offers.