Rail underpass land may need purchase order

PUBLISHED: 15:03 17 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:56 04 May 2010

A COMPULSORY purchase order will be issued if negotiations to acquire the land needed for Royston s rail underpass fail. This week members of the Hertfordshire County Council Cabinet agreed to issue the order on land near the site of the underpass, at C

A COMPULSORY purchase order will be issued if negotiations to acquire the land needed for Royston's rail underpass fail.

This week members of the Hertfordshire County Council Cabinet agreed to issue the order on land near the site of the underpass, at Coombes Hole.

A spokesman for Hertfordshire County Council said that in order for the project to go ahead it would be necessary to use land which lies along the line of the existing track.

He said: "Some adjoining property owners have, at some time, extended their back gardens so that they overlay part of this route. The council will therefore need to acquire these sections of land and move the garden fences back to their original positions."

Cllr Stuart Pile, Executive Member for Highways, Transport, and Rural Affairs at the county council, said: "The proposed route for the underpass was agreed following technical and feasibility studies and public consultation, but we now need to resolve these rather complex land ownership issues so that the way is clear for the construction work on the project.

"We hope to be able to reach an agreement with the adjoining landowners through negotiation, but if this fails for any reason, we will proceed with the necessary compulsory purchase orders."

The council will be discussing the extent of ownership and rights to the land with adjoining land owners, and attempting to resolve any issues.

If this approach is not successful, the spokesman said there "may be no choice" but to acquire the land through compulsory purchase powers.

A planning application for the project has already been submitted, and the formal consultation period continues until March 27.

The plans can be seen at www.hertsdirect.org

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