The Association has set out its plan for change in a new CLA report Fair Play: CLA vision for reform of the compulsory purchase system. CLA President Harry Cotterell said: "There are few business relationships that are as unfair as compulsory purchase, which all too often ends in bitter disputes. Rural landowners suffer doubly, having their land compulsorily purchased and then having to live with the consequences, often for generations.
"Our proposals would deliver a fairer balance between the interests of all parties, reducing conflict and delay and leading to better projects that take into account the impact on those affected and mitigate them better."
The CLA reform would introduce a new "duty of care" that acquirers would have to sellers, backed by an enforceable code of practice. Compensation packages need to reflect the true value of the property taken, and mitigation measures – such as building tunnels, embankments or bridges which should reduce the impact on the rural business affected.
Many properties are blighted for several years before the work starts so "blight" must be dealt with by a property purchase guarantee scheme. Acquirers would also have a duty to take only the minimum amount of land permanently required and to return any land that becomes surplus to the schedule.
Cheryl Gillan, MP for Amersham and Chesham said: "I am supportive of the CLA's proposals to reform the compulsory purchase system to help people affected by major infrastructure projects such as HS2. The current system can be unfair and reform is both necessary and overdue."
Watch CLA member John Barnes talk on Youtube about how compulsory purchase for HS2 has affected his home, business and personal life in Staffordshire.
Watch CLA member Peter Raine explain on Youtube how his farm was affected by compulsory purchase after the West Auckland bypass in County Durham was built on his land.