Growing number of infrastructure projects

man by lake

There are a growing number of infrastructure projects in Southern Scotland and Northern England that will affect land and property owners  

Paul Robinson, Associate and Chartered Surveyor at Davidson & Robertson, has seen an increase in infrastructure and development projects affecting clients across northern England and southern Scotland.

Paul joined Davidson & Robertson in November 2021, bringing with him over 20 years experience as a Chartered Surveyor (RICS) and RICS Registered Valuer, working for estates and for the public sector. He is well placed to support those affected by development projects and the complexities involved in infrastructure projects.

His portfolio of national clients includes managing work sites for Tarmac, and searching for battery storage sites for Zenobe Energy – of which we have already identified around 40 locations across England – including Sizewell B.

In Northern England, D&R has been heavily involved with one of England’s largest water pipeline schemes, which carved its way across the Cumbrian landscape. Providing a new water supply to the West Coast of Cumbria, the pipeline project began in 2014 but issues are still affecting farmers and landowners today.

Paul Robinson said “Any infrastructure scheme is a complex project which often involves tricky and intricate negotiations. Being involved with clients when a project is first announced makes a huge difference. Be that negotiating to adjust infrastructure routes, valuations, compensation or in force majeure notifications.  We are still supporting clients affected by the pipeline project and it has stood us in good stead for new projects in the area.”

Current infrastructure projects in southern Scotland include sites at Annandale earmarked for HS2 (currently on hold until a decision from the government is announced). In the north of England negotiations are underway for those affected by the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine Project – upgrading the road from Penrith to Scotch Corner.

Another imminent project set to affect farmers and landowners in the south of Cumbria and Lancashire is the Haweswater Aqueduct Resilience Programme which will replace 109km of ageing pipeline from Cumbria to Manchester. Initial construction on that aqueduct began in 1935 and was completed in 1955, providing water to over 2.5 million households. The cost of refurbishment has already soared to £1.8 billion*.

“Those whose land is affected by the aqueduct are likely to face many of the same issues that farmers in West Cumbria faced with the pipeline,” explained Paul, “and we have already been talking to a number of farmers through Cumbria and Lancashire. It’s about guiding those affected through each stage of the process; from providing initial advice at the start of the consultation, which can include potential objections, to agreeing on access for relevant site investigation works and negotiating accommodation works and compensation claims.”

Growing up on a family dairy farm in North Cumbria, Paul has hands-on farming experience as well as academic qualifications in agriculture, land and estate management.

Paul concludes “Having a practical and professional background in farming always proves to be very beneficial.  Whilst there is a lot of desk driven intricate work, it is also essential to fully appreciate the practical implications that will affect our clients. Getting the balance right is what leads to the best outcomes.”


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