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NFU Scotland members benefit from support on utility infrastructure issues | Project Scotland



NFU Scotland members benefit from support on utility infrastructure issues | Project Scotland

Ian Austin

DAVIDSON & Robertson (D&R) has teamed up with NFU (National Farmers Union) Scotland to support members on utility infrastructure issues.

The business revealed it has seen high demand due to the growing number of projects across Scotland, ranging from electricity upgrades and energising rail lines to new water pipeline plans.

The affinity partnership between D&R and NFUS aims to support NFUS members when statutory undertakers like Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN), Scottish and Southern Electricity(SSE), Scottish Water, or Network Rail need to do work on their land.

The latest consultation announcement from Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) has just been launched, detailing the preferred route for a new 132kv overhead line connecting the proposed Cloich Forest Wind Farm, near Eddleston in Peeblesshire, to the substation at Currie.

Rhianna Montgomery, NFU Scotland rural business policy advisor, said, “We are seeing a growing number of concerns amongst our membership about utilities and infrastructure projects impacting their land and businesses. These have a significant effect on farmers’ businesses through the need for access by the statutory undertakers, damage to crops and property, and ultimately time spent addressing all of these issues. Davidson & Robertson provides valuable expertise in utilities and infrastructure claims through their helpline, providing 15 minutes of free advice to all members.”

Ian Austin, D&R director, and department head of utilities, energy and infrastructure, added, “The push to net zero has resulted in a requirement to upgrade the national electrical network. National Grid has stated that over the next seven years (from 2023), five times the level of electrical infrastructure built in the last 30 years will need to be built”. This is set to impact huge numbers of farmers across the country.

“Through the NFUS members helpline, we are already talking to members who are concerned about the effect on their land and who want to understand more fully their rights and options. We are also able to explain what can be claimed for and can support them in making that claim so that they’re properly compensated.

“It is worth highlighting that you are likely to have reasonable professional advice costs covered by the Statutory Undertaker. It means you can receive professional advice from the earliest stage in the process to ensure that the effects of the scheme can be mitigated, and you are fully compensated, potentially without costs to yourselves.”

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