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£2m payouts over Weymouth Relief Road woes
8:36am Tuesday 13th August 2013 in News
MORE than 800 people have lodged compensation claims over the impact of the Weymouth relief road on their property value.
Dorset County Council has so far paid out more than £2million to householders – including single payments of £30,000 for some properties directly next to the £89million route.
The council says that so far 300 of the 800 claims have been agreed but not all of those lodged will be successful.
Claims have been made for the effects for such elements as increased noise, vibrations from traffic and air pollution.
Surveyors Thomson Broadbent, of Corby, has so far claimed about £500,000 for clients and has been dealing with 170 claims.
Chartered surveyor John Sullivan said: “So far it has gone very smoothly.
“We still have a few to go.
“Noise has been the main thing but there have also been claims because of dust, pollution and vibrations from the traffic.”
Mr Sullivan said some of the claimants, particularly at Littlemoor, were landlords who let properties out but others were private landowners.
“They range from a few thousand pounds to £10,000.
“It is a new road and the figures are broadly in line with other places.”
He added that owners of some bigger properties, in the Greenway Road area, have received £30,000.
Mr Sullivan said these payments were exceptional because of the size of the properties.
The claims were made under part one of of the Land Compensation Act 1973 for the impact of the road against the value of properties.
The council said that the compensation payments were factored into the cost of the relief road as part of its submission to the Department for Transport.
The council said that it anticipated a high number of claims as the route was passing through Littlemoor and close to housing.
Noise barriers were erected around sections of road to screen homes.
The council claims these have kept the number of claims down and that some noise was inevitable, so there would always be some valid claims for compensation.
Hilary Cox, cabinet member for environment, pictured above, said: “The Weymouth relief road has been a great success.
“The scheme has helped reduce travel times, improve transport links and has benefited the environment. Right from the off we expected to have to pay compensation and this was always included in the funding from the Department for Transport (DfT).”
The budget for the Weymouth relief road was just over £89million, with £80,696,000 funded by DfT and the remaining £8,575,000 coming from Dorset County Council.
Homeowners were awarded compensation for devaluation of their property depending on a valuation of their property at the time of the first claim and its location in respect of distance from the road.
n THE council says that claims are not unique to the Weymouth relief road.
The legislation applies to all public works, defined as new or altered highway, aerodrome or other public works.
The legislation dates back to 1973 and since then there has been a duty imposed on the Highways Agency or county councils as local highway authorities to make the payments.
The council says that there are a large number of claims in respect of the road because it is so close to residential areas, but the claims were always anticipated.
Under the Limitation Act 1980 claims can be considered up to six years from the first claim day.
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