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A1 in Northumberland

In autumn 2014, the Road Investment Strategy designated £290m to improve 13 miles of the A1 in Northumberland with the aim of further economic growth and development in the area.  The plans involve a wide variety of possibilities, including junction upgrades, overtaking lanes and improvements to pedestrian crossings.

Areas affected

Highways England have set up a dedicated department for the A1 in Northumberland which has segmented the A1 into 2 phases:

  • North of Ellingham – planned start date 2018
  • Morpeth to Ellingham – planned to start 2019/2020

A consultation on the design for the scheme closed at the end of 2016 and results are currently being assessed by Highways England.  The full scheme details and design plans are expected to be published later this year, following which land will be secured with construction to follow soon after.

Compulsory Purchase

As the scheme proceeds, it is likely Highways England will use compulsory purchase powers to acquire the land without the need for the owner’s or occupier’s consent.  In anticipation of this, the A1 in Northumberland department is making contact with residents and stake holders now to forewarn them of the possible impacts on their properties and to open a dialogue in the hope of creating cooperative relationships.

Landowners and occupiers will need to be prepared for the scheme as there may be opportunities to challenge the amount of land they will lose, influence accommodation works and claim early compensation payments.  The key to this relies on responding quickly and efficiently to notices and to cooperating with A1 in Northumberland where possible.

For example, the rules of compulsory purchase allow authorities to begin construction on private land before they have purchase the title. To compensate for this, it is possible to secure a payment of 90% of the estimated compensation value on the date they take access with the remaining 10% payable on completion of the scheme.

However, if this opportunity is missed, a claimant must wait until the construction work is completed before receiving payment, which could leave them out of pocket for some years.

Professional Advice

Professional fees can be included as part of a compensation claim and affected landowners and occupiers are encouraged to appoint an agent as soon as possible, to ensure their best interests are protected.

GSC Grays provide professional advice in respect of all matters of compulsory purchase and land acquisition including:

  • Pre-entry surveys
  • Access issues
  • Preparation of compensation claims
  • Early payment of compensation
  • Constructions compounds and accommodation works

If you are affected by this or any other scheme and are seeking professional advice, please do not hesitate to contact:

[team-member name=”Chris Thyer”]

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