HC Deb 03 July 1956 vol 555 cc101-2W
Mr. Owen

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power the basic features taken into account in determining the compensation paid to owners and/or tenants of land compulsorily purchased for opencast coal mining.

Mr. Aubrey Jones

Land is not compulsorily purchased for opencast coal mining but is requisitioned for a period of years and then returned to the original owner. Compensation is paid under the Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939, as subsequently amended, which lays down a code of compensation for all requisitioned land. Under this code the occupier receives an annual payment equal to the rent that might reasonably be payable by a tenant in occupation of the land (subject to an upper limit of 160 per cent. of the 1939 rental value) together with compensation for tenant right and expenses incurred in surrendering possession. Meanwhile, tenants remain liable to their landlords for rent; the land is restored as far as practicable before derequisition and the owner receives terminal compensation equal to the cost of making good any damage, subject to a ceiling based on the diminution in the value of the land.

In addition, the occupiers of agricultural land taken for opencast coal production who continue to farm the remainder of their holdings, receive an extra-statutory supplementary payment equal to the annual rental compensation and twice this in the case of small holdings.

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