NFUS member Mr Robert Barr, from East Kinleith Farm, Currie engaged D&R to support the business during a Scottish Water project to install a new pipeline through their farm.
The main issues faced have been damage to and loss of crops, poor reinstatement of both land and drainage, loss of yield from crops in subsequent years, and disturbance of the farming practice.
The disturbance was significant, with a great deal of additional work including more time checking stock due to temporary fences, travelling further for crops stored away from the steading, sorting stock after contractors left gates open, organising temporary water supplies to livestock, pulling contractors vehicles out when they get stuck in fields and many conversations with contractors and project managers regarding access. Throughout the whole process, the D&R team has negotiated and managed claims.
Robert Barr said “It’s a very long process and we still have ongoing issues, so we rely on D&R to sort those out for us. We’ve had poor reinstatement in some of our grass fields, and in one, there are lots of small sharp stones which pose a risk to cattle hooves. We still have to put in an annual claim for loss of crop due to poorer yields in the area they dug up. It’s quite obviously a thinner crop and there are still some drainage issues too. These types of negotiations are new to us, but D&R deals with very similar issues with other farmers so they know the most effective way of dealing with them.
“We’ve only just got the use of our ‘stack yard’ back after providing the hardcore materials to reinstate the yard. D&R negotiated an agreement with Scottish Water so they would pay the costs and that was agreed before the reinstatement work.
“The process has been ongoing for a long time so we’re very glad we can leave the messy stuff to D&R. They’re professional and anticipate the pitfalls and problems as well as negotiating for us. Ian Austin and his team look after us very well, and we have no hesitation in using them for future work – which will be sooner than we thought because Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) have notified us of upgrade works to the pylon route that runs through the farm. From our experience, we know that getting D&R involved at the start will save us time, and hassle and help us recoup loss of income.”
“D&R has a lot of experience with this kind of project. Acting as our Agents, we see their role as making it all as painless as possible so we can live through the work and come out the other side no worse off. D&R sort issues for us so we can get on with the day job of running the farm.”
For more information contact our Utilities, Energy & Infrastructure Team on 0131 449 6212.