FARMERS may be entitled to compensation when the Newtown bypass is built, if their land is directly affected by the scheme.

With the route of the Newtown bypass now announced, farmers and landowners in the area are being advised to seek professional advice as early as possible, to ensure they are adequately compensated for any work carried out on their land.

The preferred route of the bypass will pass south of Newtown’s Mochdre Industrial Estate and beneath the Cambrian Railway.

Although work is not expected to start until 2014, landowners should be prepared, says an Oswestry-based consultancy firm.

“If you are in the proposed path of the new bypass, or if you have been approached by the Welsh Assembly with regards to any road scheme, you should be aware that you are entitled to have a land agent work on your behalf,” said Kirsty Lees, assistant land agent with David Meade Property Consultants.

Farmers and landowners in and around Newtown may be approached for use of their land, be it for temporary access or permanent use. If land is taken from them, they are entitled to compensation, Kirsty said.

Basic compensation is paid according to the market value of the land affected, but farmers are also entitled to receive other reimbursement such as severance payments, perhaps where a farm has to change enterprises because of a project.

For example, a farm may have to cease dairying if a new road prevents cows being able to walk between fields and farm.

“Disturbance payments can be claimed too. If you are living next door to a noisy set of road works. You may be entitled to claim for the cost of dealing with such problems,” she added.

“Farmers should be aware of their rights and take advice from an agent as soon as possible, bearing in mind that professional fees can be claimed.”

New schemes not already approved will have to go through consultation with councils, Environment Agency and planners.

As soon as a draft ‘Compulsory Purchase Order’ comes out, farmers and landowners should consider whether or not to object. This draft is the first step of the consultation process, enabling local residents to get involved.

“Once the CPO is confirmed and work starts, it will be too late to stop the procedure, so you need to make sure you get all the necessary accommodation work scheduled, such as new accesses and fences.

“You should keep a very careful diary of everything that happens, recording all meetings and noting any damage such as broken fences and cracked windows, as this could be potential evidence in a compensation claim," she added.

As well as the Newtown bypass, the Assembly has a number of other road schemes planned including,  the A470 at Builth Wells, Rhayader and Llandinam.